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Overwhelmed executives struggle with mental health issues

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Sun Media/attached

Doug Jarvis owns a butcher shop in the Bay of Plenty and has finally taken a day off after two years.

A butcher in the Bay of Plenty says more business owners need to speak out about mental health after two years of working every day.

Doug Jarvis, owner of two specialty stores in Mount Manganui and Papamoa, Doug Jarvis Butchers, said he was working seven days a week with eight staff gone.

Besides, earlier this year, Jarvis, who has worked as a butcher for 38 years, reached breaking point after a break-in and theft from his shop.

“It’s just depression and the way things get on you,” he said.

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“And it’s not just me, it’s so many people I talk to.”

The MYOB 2022 Business Monitor, a survey of over 1,000 local small business (SME) owners, found that nearly one-third (32%) had experienced a mental health condition since starting or taking over their business. It became clear that

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Of those who have experienced a mental health condition, 85% reported being affected by stress, 71% said they experienced anxiety, and 39% said they experienced depression.

The impact of Covid-19 continued to have the greatest impact on overall health, followed by sleep deprivation, high workload and political uncertainty.

In May, Jarvis’ blood pressure reached dangerously high levels due to stress.

“It just got worse and worse and worse. And obviously your mental state affects your health.”

After Jarvis said thing I didn’t have a day off for more than two years due to a labor shortage.

His staff then got together and rearranged shifts to cover for Jarvis, surprising him with a vacation to Brisbane to see his son for the first time in two years.

“It was excellent. I really, really needed it. It’s amazing how much I didn’t realize how much I needed it.”

Despite the fact that a significant percentage of small business owners and leaders have mental health issues, the survey reveals that most small businesses do not discuss mental health and well-being in the workplace. became.

John Bollen/Sun Media

“It’s just depression and the way things get on you,” says Doug Jarvis.

Three-quarters of those surveyed said they had not discussed mental health or support with staff in the past 12 months.

Jarvis said he has one-on-one meetings with staff who may be struggling and talks about it a lot in the community.

“I try to be as supportive a person as I can. I feel confident that I can do something for these people just by being there.”

He said all companies should talk about mental health in the workplace.

“It shouldn’t be a taboo topic. Everyone should talk about it. Only talking to that one person can make that kind of difference.”

“Just communicate with people, that’s what’s important. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

MYOB spokesperson Jo Tozer said business owners have to overcome many more challenges in addition to the usual pressures that directly affect mental health and well-being.

“Given the current economic and employment challenges, it’s understandable that small businesses are overwhelmed, leading to increased stress and anxiety, but business owners and managers need to remember that they are not alone. It’s important to keep it,” says Tozer.

“More than half of small business owners and decision makers choose social time with friends and family to improve their mental wellbeing, and this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week identified people, places and ways to stay mentally healthy. Focusing on the importance of reconnecting, please support us.”

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