About the Partners in Wellbeing Helpline
Running a small business is an exciting and enjoyable experience, but it also comes with a unique set of challenges and responsibilities.
It is common for people to feel stress or concern about their business. Many people may not have someone to share their concerns with or would prefer not to discuss these issues with family members or friends.
The Partners in Wellbeing Helpline ensures that sole traders, small business owners and their employees can speak to someone who understands them, and who understands their business.
The helpline is a free and confidential service that provides support for small business owners and employees through trained wellbeing coaches, financial counsellors and business advisers.
Contact Partners in Wellbeing
Helpline operating hours*
Monday to Friday: 9am to 10pm
Saturday to Sunday: 9am to 5pm
*excluding public holidays.
Services are available in languages other than English.
Live Chat operating hours
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Refer someone you know
If you would like to refer someone you know, you must first discuss this with them and have their consent to make the referral on their behalf.
We encourage referrals from people who identify as LGBTIQ+, culturally diverse, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, veterans and people experiencing homelessness.
- Melbourne Metro – North, West, Inner, South (Neami)
- Melbourne Metro – South-Eastern, East (EACH)
- Regional Victoria (ACSO)
Experiences with Partners in Wellbeing
Helping small businesses plan for the future
I'm Fiona Sweetman and I own a business called Hidden Secrets Tours.
I've been self-employed for most of my career, but to have 15 staff to look after, most of whom who didn't qualify to be supported by me under the Jobkeeper, it's been a difficult year.
The helpline was appealing to me in that it offered different versions of help, whether it be financial, wellbeing or even business coaching.
It's assisted me in thinking about how my business could adapt and gave me some tools and templates on how to look at a risk assessment.
In talking to the consultants, I could see that there was still positivity in what I offered and that the markets do come back.
Having someone at the end of the phone that is non-judgmental and really has the skills to help, it was a really great surprise for me.
And I'd look at doing that again.
Supporting hospitality and small businesses
I'm the owner of the Journal Cafe in Flinders Lane. I've owned this business for 17 years. So, you can basically say this is my home away from home.
The helpline was there to support me through a very hard situation in regards to what was happening with COVID.
Initially reaching out was quite difficult. However, once I contacted the helpline, they were there to help me with my mental health, discussing certain situations that were arising in my business, in regards to staff and so forth.
And there's a lot more people out there that are probably in the same boat. Hopefully moving forward, we can utilise tools like the help services that will get us through to a better future.
Empowering small business owners
Hi, I'm Michael Hibbert. Shortlist Private Tours is my business, and I take people on tours, wherever they might want to go.
The helpline has been a great service for me. It's a one-on-one consultation each week, initially. At the moment it's running every two weeks and it's been a really valuable personal support for me in my business.
If I was talking with somebody else about being in touch with the helpline, I would really recommend it.
In small business, it can be really hard on your own. It's really empowering to know that there's someone there to actually go through these challenges with.
I'm feeling quite positive about the future now, having worked with the helpline for some weeks. I've been able to identify new opportunities and possibilities that exist.
I'm also feeling quite empowered around whatever the future throws up, that I'll be in good shape and good space to tackle it.
Marc’s next chapter
My name is Marc and I had a gardening business that I ran for 23 years.
Last year, when the pandemic hit, it really interfered with my business. Unfortunately, I had to close it in the end, which caused problems with my mental health.
The helpline gave me consultations for my business and my wellbeing once a week. The people that I spoke with were honest, respectful, kind and understanding.
They helped me close my business and gave me hope, which made me move forward.
Closing down my business was hard, but now I'm starting a new part of my life.
The helpline got me motivated to do a computer course, try some new things out. I don't know where I'd been now without the helpline.
Other wellbeing resources for businesses
Watch videos on wellbeing for small business owners on Financial Counselling Victoria's YouTube channel.