When we meet with individuals and directors of companies in financial distress, it is often towards the end of a challenging journey in which uncertainty, stress and anxiety have played significant roles. It follows that the individuals we meet are tired, strained to their breaking-point and likely to be struggling with the weight of addressing a difficult discussion – bankruptcy or liquidation.

We are known for being respectful and empathetic in our approach to these discussions and we confront difficult topics with people in a supportive and objective way as we help them understand their options.

Part of that process is to listen to their story and gather information about what is important to them. More often than not, the biggest issues relate to the perception of failure and letting people down – employees, suppliers and family.  

As a result, we spend a significant part of our interactions with people in an almost ‘pseudo-psychologist’ role as we map out an actionable plan for them to deal with their concerns.

To bolster our strengths in this area, in May I undertook a course put together by Deakin University called Counting on U, which was derived to assist SME advisors with identifying mental health issues in their clients and to provide guidance and resources for advisors to address and support clients dealing with mental health challenges. The course is structured as both self-paced and interactive with two Zoom-based webinars with other attendees from around the country. The course has been backed by CAANZ, CPA, IPA and ICB, which shows their commitment to addressing this major challenge for SME owners.

I am now an accredited mental health first aider and I have already experienced the benefits of what I have learned, having discussed some sensitive mental health topics with people in the last few weeks since completing the course.

If you, or anyone you know, would benefit from undertaking the course, I highly recommend it. You can read more here.

About the author

Greg Quin is a Partner and Registered Liquidator at HLB Mann Judd Insolvency WA and has been with the team for 12 years. Greg oversees the daily operations of the many insolvency appointments managed by the HLB Insolvency team and looks after the operations of the practice.

If you have any queries about insolvency matters, please feel free to contact Greg on 08 9215 7900, 0402 943 091 or via email to gquin@hlbinsol.com.au.


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