By Melody Wilding
Startup life, while rewarding, can be stressful. Founders cope with great amounts of rejection and uncertainty on a daily basis. This pressure can take a toll on a founders’ well-being.
One recent survey found that nearly a quarter of founders became physically unwell as a result of work-related stress. Entrepreneurs are also significantly more likely to report a history of depression, ADHD and substance abuse.
Although mental illness is on the rise among entrepreneurs, awareness for mental health issues is increasing in the start-up community as well. Many founders are publicly talking about their struggles with anxiety, depression and bi-polar disorder to end stigma and encourage others to seek help.
Investors can also take an active role in supporting founder well-being. Some venture capital firms have even begun paying for therapy services for founders — all in the name of creating high-performing companies. Emotionally fit founders are more productive, efficient and make better leaders.
Ready to do your part? Here is how you can support the mental health of entrepreneurs and send a positive message in the Victorian startup community overall.
1. Know the signs.
It can be hard to tell the difference between stress and something more serious, especially when you are accustomed to operating in competitive environments. Symptoms vary, but common signs of a mental health problems are:
- Physical changes such as weight gain, lack of sleep or lethargy.
- Emotional changes like excessive fear, anger and drastic mood shifts.
- Cognitive changes, including brain fog, distorted thoughts or seeing things that are not there.
- Social withdrawal or apathy towards previously enjoyable activities.