It’s no secret that starting your own business takes courage. Branching out on your own, in business, can be a stressful and uncertain journey. Which is why we’ve put together this quick business owner’s guide to mental health.

As some mental health statistics show us, being a business owner can carry with it an element of risk to our mental health if we don’t look after ourselves.

As an entrepreneur, you may find it hard to switch off. There is always something to do when it comes to running your own business, and work/life balance takes discipline. Many business owners may find themselves working late and at weekends, leaving them little time to relax. On top of this, there are the finances to think about. All sounds very stressful, so far.

Running your own business is no mean feat, but that doesn’t mean your mental health has to suffer. There are strategies you can try and steps you can take to prepare yourself should you embark on this career path.

Building and sustaining a business can be hugely rewarding, yet at times lonely and stressful. Whether you work alone or run an empire, it can be hard to juggle the workload of the entire business. Therefore, it is imperative that business owners understand how to maintain positive mental health for themselves and their workforce.

Our business owner’s guide to mental health is here to take a closer look at the impact of being an entrepreneur on mental health. Plus some key tips for how to manage your mental health while running your own business.

Entrepreneurs and Mental Health

Research shows that 72% of entrepreneurs are directly or indirectly impacted by mental health issues, compared to 48% of non-entrepreneurs.

One of the main areas that can impact a business owner’s mental health is a lack of support, particularly if working alone. This, paired with the risk and pressure that can come with running a business, can swiftly become overwhelming. That’s why it’s vital to ensure you understand how to recognise the early warning signs of mental health issues and burnout, so you can tackle any issue before they escalate.

Without the right strategies in place, running your own business can be isolating and stressful, leading to burnout and mental health issues if left unsupported. On top of this, with the rise of the hustle culture, it can be difficult to start prioritising your mental health in the professional world. 

Unfortunately, hustle culture has created a professional landscape where hobbies, self-care and family time can sometimes take a back seat. However, the more entrepreneurs and business owners are able to access the right tools and information to manage and discuss their mental health, the less stigma and silence we are likely to see.

Key ways entrepreneurs can manage their mental health, include: 

    • Utilising community, friends and family for support.

    • Committing to a daily mental health practice (e.g. journaling, yoga, meditation, breathwork, exercise).

    • Outsourcing within your business.

Mental Health Within The Workplace

Unfortunately, stigma around mental health is still present in businesses of all shapes and sizes. This stigma can create problems for business owners who are struggling to manage their own mental health and support their employees. 

The best thing employers can do to support their staff is to provide an environment where it’s okay to ask for help. As well as encourage them to look after themselves more proactively. This may include things like mindfulness, meditation and exercise classes, as well as Mental Health First Aid Training.

By creating an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing these topics with their managers, the stigma around mental health can be reduced.

Related Reading: The Benefits of Employee Wellbeing in the Workplace

How To Look After Your Mental Health As An Employer or Business Owner

If you’re an employer or business owner and you’re struggling with your mental health you should never hesitate to reach out for support. There are many steps that can be taken to look after your mental health. Here are some of our top mental health tips:

Tip 1: Train in Mental Health First Aid

If you’re running a business and employ people, you may want to consider MHFA training. An accredited Mental Health First Aid course is designed to help business owners and staff understand mental health issues. It also teaches business owners and employees methods of support for when someone is in need. This will allow you as a business owner to help both yourself and your colleagues.

Tip 2: Have Access To Wider Business Mental Health Training

Making sure that you understand what’s happening is the first step in gaining control over your mental health. This means understanding more about anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. Once you have that information, you can find the best support for yourself. 

Providing Mental Health Aware or MHFA Champions training will ensure that you and your team has the skills to help employees who are struggling with mental health issues at work.

Tip 3: Encourage Employees To Get Professional Help

Employees should feel that they can approach their boss if they are having a mental health crisis in the workplace. Whether that is anxiety, depression or another mental health issue. By opening up a dialogue and being approachable around mental health you’re breaking down stigmas and showing employees you’re there to listen and help.

Looking For Accredited Mental Health Training?

At Great Minds At Work, we offer a range of accredited Mental Health First Aid Training courses to provide everyone with the tools they need to look after their own mental health and that of others. Our MHFA courses can be taught in person or online. So don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your workplace MHFA needs.

For more information about our accredited MHFA courses, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.