FSB and Inspire have launched a new partnership aimed at encouraging small business owners across Northern Ireland to look after their own wellbeing and wellbeing of their staff.

The partnership, part of NI’s regional anti stigma campaign Change Your Mind, will offer small business owners a range of information resources, training and support to help them deal with the pressures and stresses that are all too often a part of running your own business.

Speaking at the launch of the partnership John Conaghan from Inspire said: “Workplace wellbeing is not only an issue for large employers.  Breaking down the stigma around mental ill health, encouraging people to seek help and providing information and support for managers is just as important for small businesses as it is for large corporations.  FSB members also carry the additional stress of owning and running a business and it is important that our anti-stigma and wellbeing messages reach business owners as well as their staff.   As we begin a month long campaign focused on the importance of listening skills in promoting wellbeing in the workplace we are delighted to be able to start working alongside FSB to build a culture of wellbeing in small business across the region.”

Welcoming the partnership, Mairaid McMahon from FSB said: “Mental health and wellbeing are key concerns for our members, both in terms of supporting their employees and understanding the importance of protecting themselves. Recent FSB research shows that one in five small businesses said they had recruited someone with a mental health condition within the previous three years. Looking at the calls to FSB Care, our health and medical advice service for members, we also know that more than one in five are related to mental health issues. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, which marks the start of a month long campaign culminating on World Mental Health Day, the 10 October, and we are pleased to be working with Inspire to reduce the stigma around conversations about mental health in the workplace, and to provide practical support to our members in their own businesses right across Northern Ireland.”

As experts in business, FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in Government. Its aim is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk/ni