Question :
 Hello. I am a abuse survivor and mental health advocate who runs a blog. My main funding comes from public speaking and workshops. Obviously I have no work at the moment and am unsure of which way to take my work. I write a lot of articles online for various organisations but all voluntarily and it’s not something I would or could charge for. I was thinking of possible doing mental health coaching online but not sure if I’m qualified enough for such a thing and it’s not something I could set up ‘quickly’. I’m wondering if anyone had any idea of which way I could take things. 

Question submitted 15/04/20 @ 08:09pm
Industry: People & Culture
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    Hi there,

    Thank you for the work you do in the mental health industry. It is important mahi and probably now even more so.

    In the first instance (and you may have done this already) I would recommend applying for the economic subsidy as a self-employed person/contractor.

    In regards to taking your content to a digital platform versus face to face workshops, there is high demand for online coaching services. Kale Panoho, of K&J Growth, spoke in the Manaaki alive podcast the other day about what small businesses could do to transfer their offerings online. Where to start, how to engage with the already existing communities and trial services or products for free while we’re in this current climate.

    I’m by no means a digital expert but I recognise good advice when I hear it, and hopefully one of my fellow advisors might me able to get into more technical detail for you if Kale’s interview doesn’t help you start.

    All the best!


    Hey Jessica

    Love your thinking. I think that virtual coaching is going to come into its own. There’s definitely opportunity for you out there. It would be interesting to look globally to see what other countries are doing in this space in the coming month. Keep searching and thinking as it will develop ideas for you.

    It just maybe that you don’t need the more formal qualification for more of a blog style gig but longer term a qualifications in this space will definitely gain credibility and lift you into another space. This Covid cloud is going to increase demand for online education of short courses. That will also be an interesting space for you to follow around coaching etc if this is your longer term purpose

    Good luck good human.



    Hi Jessica. I agree entirely that your skills and experience will be so important in the future. In addition to the great suggestions above, have you thought about googling (or even approaching) others in your sector who are doing this sort of work now to see what their qualifications are, if any. If they are on LinkedIn, there is a specific section for people to display that sort of thing. The other considerations you could explore, is forming or joining a partnership with others so you share the load and the expense of evolving your business. Jessie Kendall from Empower Me Now could be a good example as a starter for 10 of someone who has her own business, but also works with Mike King. Another thought is whether you use this time to write about the experience of developing your business. Learning how to navigate the ups and downs of business change may also introduce a new audience to your work. All the best for the next phase. Fiona


    Hi Jessica, you may wish to contact the multitude of mental health support lines and EAP providers as they hire self employed consultants to provide counselling. I’m not sure if you need to be a qualified psychologist or not but there is going to be a need for professional help in mental health.
    Here is a list of some from the HPA website https://www.eapservices.co.nz/resources/support-resources/

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