IPA receives grant from NHMRC to support mental health research effort
The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has received a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to support its research into the mental health of small business.
The IPA has partnered with Beyond Blue, Mental Health First Aid Australia, WorkSafe Victoria and Deakin University and will be directing the NHMRC grant of $559,073 towards research into the mental health of SME owners.
“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,” said the CEO of the IPA Andrew Conway.
“In terms of mental health research, this is a genuine game changer; we intend to put our collective backing behind this.”
In its Australian Small Business White Paper, the IPA shone a light on the mental health of small business, recognising it as a significant issue in Australia. It expressed its intent on doing what it can as an organisation to arrest the tide of growing health concerns.
“Our nationwide small business road show in 2017 provided many anecdotes of small businesses battling with depression, anxiety and other issues; too many stories to ignore,” said Mr Conway.
“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.”
He explained that IPA members are very often the first to see the struggle signs within their clients, which is why the body would like to see its 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 Mr Conway.