18 December 2019

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) is pleased to confirm a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) which will support the IPA’s research endeavours into the mental health of small business.

“The IPA is very pleased to partner with Beyond Blue, Mental Health First Aid Australia, Worksafe Victoria and Deakin University and to receive the research grant of $559,073 from the NHMRC,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway.

“It is an exciting development considering this is a world first in this type of research and I am humbled to be recognised as introducing this initiative.

‘In terms of mental health research, this is a genuine game changer; we intend to put our collective backing behind this.

“Through our Australian Small Business White Paper development, we have heralded the fact that the mental health of small business is a significant issue in Australia, and we are intent on doing what we can to arrest the tide of growing health concerns.

“Our nation-wide small business road show in 2017 provided many anecdotes of small businesses battling with depression, anxiety and other issues; too many stories to ignore.

“We are very grateful to the NHRMC for this funding which will extend research in protecting the mental health of SME owners; evaluating real-world approaches to mental health first aid; and, client-relationship building training for small business advisers.

“Our members are very often the first to see the struggle signs within their clients and therefore, we would like to see our members better equipped to support their clients and themselves through mental health first aid training.

“They need to be skilled appropriately, to have those early conversations and point the way to the health professional that is required,” said Prof Conway.