Wednesday, 5th May, 2021

Local business owners to receive fully-funded mental health and resilience support with launch of new programme

A new programme providing business owners with access to free confidential counselling or coaching support is being launched today.

Take Stock will provide owners with the opportunity to share the stress of running their business and the impact of this on those around them with a trained professional.  The service is being promoted by the Business Response Group (BRG) which is a collaboration between Ignite Wanaka, Lake Wanaka Tourism, Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, Destination Queenstown and the Economic Development team within Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC).

Take Stock will be provided by Benestar and is being coordinated by the QLDC Economic Development team. Take Stock offers a range of ways business owners can receive support including phone based, face to face, digital or live chat contact.

The programme will also include a series of webinars that will be offered to all owners, employees and family members of businesses within the Queenstown Lakes District. These will run once a month for the duration of the programme and will cover a variety of topics, such as Mental Health and Wellbeing at Work, Dealing with High Stress Customer Behaviour and Managing Your Optimism, Resilience, and Wellbeing

Owners of small businesses play a key role in supporting the wellbeing of their staff, often at the neglect of their own. They not only carry the burden of responsibility for their livelihood but for other members of their local community.

Having sole responsibility for a business can weigh heavily on the mind; owners and operators may go to sleep thinking about their work and wake up still thinking about it. The threat of business failure or late payments, all whilst trying to maintain a semblance of work life balance, can impact heavily on mental health and wellbeing.

Benestar General Manager Julie Cressey, said she was pleased to be working with the Southern Lakes Business Response Group, as the team had acknowledged not just the financial impact of COVID-19 on the region, but most importantly, the human impact.

“The Southern Lakes BRG has acknowledged that the mental health of their region’s leaders has a direct impact on the wider community, and supporting these individuals will benefit everyone,” said Ms Cressey.

“We applaud the Southern Lakes BRG for taking a proactive, human response to the impacts of COVID-19 on the district.”

Speaking on behalf of Queenstown and Wanaka Chambers, Ignite Wanaka Executive Officer Naomi Lindsay echoed these comments, noting that support for the district’s small and medium business owners would build resilience and health, both key factors for community success.

“Accessing appropriate support and advice from professional counsellors will help owners be the best they can be, enabling them to continue to thrive, support themselves and their teams during the recovery journey ahead,” said Naomi Lindsay.

“The Take Stock programme will assist more than 90 small and medium enterprises and includes five dedicated webinars run over the next six months.  It is another way to help create conversations amongst our business owners and their staff about the importance of wellbeing and resilience.”