WHY ENTREPRENEURS NEED TO TALK ABOUT THEIR MENTAL HEALTH

72% of entrepreneurs are directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues compared to just 48% of non entrepreneurs. That’s according to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health. 49% of entrepreneurs deal with mental health issues directly while only 32% of others experienced them. Similarly, 23% of entrepreneurs have family members who face these issues compared to just 16% of others with family members who face these same types of issues. As a category – entrepreneurs are exponentially more likely to suffer from mental health problems, and yet, people don’t talk about that enough – it is fetishized and glamourized, so here’s an attempt to share some data and personal experience to show the other side. While many view entrepreneurship as a dream career full of excitement, it is a real rocky road. According to this study by Michael Freeman, entrepreneurs are 50 percent more likely to report having a mental health condition. And yet, we still struggle to talk about it. In his brilliant book, Lost Connections, the author Johann Hari makes the comment that “humans need tribes, like bees need hives”- and I think this point gets to a major crux of what causes so much of what we, as entrepreneurs, experience as mental health problems. There is the famous quote that “it’s lonely at the top” but it can be very lonely on the way there too, and even worse right back down at the bottom. In COVID times with a mix of quarantines, lockdowns, curfews and too many zoom meetings, this already large problem in our sector has just gotten bigger. Most importantly, whatever you are going through right now, know you are not alone, please do reach out to just one friend, and see what kind of difference it can make. Read More >>

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