Abstract for NZ Mental Health Conference – Mon 16 and Tues 17 March 2020

ABSTRACT – THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PRICE OF BUSINESS LOSS – THE DISCONNECT AND  HUMAN COST EXPOSED FOR THE NZ MENTAL HEALTH CONFERENCE, CHRISTCHURCH, IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE AUSTRALIA AND NZ MENTAL HEALTH ASSN – 16 AND 17 MARCH 2020

 

Very little if any academic literature looks specifically at business loss and the impact on mental health. A huge disconnect exists on this subject from the business sector and not the mental health sector. There are many ways to lose a business but regardless of why it happened it is usually a traumatic experience for the owner.  It is a crisis.

While there are support services out there, what happens when a failed business is construed as a personal failure – or, put more harshly, a failed person? This is not a stigma propogated by health professionals, rather it is one that exists in the business community perpetuated by Organisations like the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce who – put simply, does not want to hear from those who have fallen on hard times.

The mental health sector needs to be made aware of this, and perhaps professionals and advocates like myself can influence the business community to look at things differently – through an ‘impact on mental health’ lens.

I have advocated to break down stigmas associated with business loss and mental health by sharing my lived experience through writing and  publishing articles online , public presentations, written submissions, radio, print media, pod cast interviews, etc. (In my case I plumetted into serious mental and physical illness. Those feelings of shame, worry, failure, loss of confidence etc, led to self harming and abusing medications, including bungling my medications for congestive heart failure and COPD).

Establishing Business Crisis Support NZ (a networking sharing, help-directing group), was my initiative and filled a much needed  gap by bringing together people who had been through similar experiences.

Education and lived experience are powerful mediums. Business stigmas, Mental Health connectedness, and healing can only come about through knowledge, learning, and listening.

BIO

Fiona Green (Ngapuhi) is an experienced Administrator, Community Advocate, and holds a Bachelor of Education (Tchg) degree. Fiona is an experienced lobbyist with a commitment to giving voice to small business owners, individuals and groups including the disabled. Fiona’s ground-breaking, innovative approach was demonstrated when she established ‘Business Crisis Support New Zealand.’ This Organisation offers support to those who have experienced business loss and addresses the impact the resulting challenges have for individuals on their mental health.  Fiona’s passions include the Human Rights Change Movement, and Humanitarian initiatives.  Fiona is proud to be Autistic.

TOPIC

 

OPEN – BUSINESS LOSS AND THE MENTAL HEALTH IMPACT

 

PRESENTATION TYPE

Oral 30 minute sessions

KEY LEARNING AREAS:

  • How commonly accepted business ideologies are misconceptions and exacerbate mental health trauma.
  • How breaking down stigmas associated with business loss and mental health can help with healing including reconnecting a disconnected business community.
  • Why lived experience is important on the one hand but why we still need specialists such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and occupational therapists with evidence that Colonisation is not the cause of Mental Health challenges.

INCLUDE ANY SPEAKING EXPERIENCE

Recent experience includes:

2018 – Attending a public meeting in Whangarei talking about business loss and the mental health fallout as part of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addictions.

2019 – Stood as a Candidate for the Local Body Elections in the Okara Ward, Whangarei and raised topics such as diversity, inclusion, disability, business loss and mental health at 6 x Meet the Candidates Events.

2019 – Podcast interview – Hamilton Journalist Mike Pulham – Business Loss/Mental Health/Disability Sector/Autism

2019 – Hour-long Radio Interview with Sheldon Brown of Auckland’s Planet FM – ‘Take it from us – Mental Health Forum’ – Auckland’s Planet FM 104.6.  Re:  business loss and the mental health fall out.