Canadian Mental Health Association study supported by BDC takes pulse of entrepreneurs’ well-being
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), supported by BDC, Canada’s only bank exclusively devoted to entrepreneurs, today released an in-depth report examining Canadian entrepreneurs’ mental health. The study, Going it Alone: the mental health and well-being of entrepreneurs in Canada, looks at the mental health and well-being of Canada’s entrepreneurs, in order to better understand the unique pressures they face, discovering that:
- Two thirds (62%) feel depressed at least once a week
- Entrepreneurs who are female, whose enterprises are in the growth or early stages and by those with fewer employees or less revenue are more likely to report mental health issues
- Nearly half (46%) say that mental health issues interfere with their ability to work
- One in five (21%) entrepreneurs feel satisfied with their mental health less than once a week. Among the general population, eight per cent of Canadians perceive their mental health as poor or fair.
The report examines results from a survey of nearly 500 entrepreneurs across Canada. It finds that entrepreneurs in Canada are experiencing fatigue, depressed mood and high degrees of stress. Survey respondents were the founders, co-founders or owners of small, medium- and/or large-sized businesses in operation for at least a year and with at least one other employee. In addition, CMHA conducted in-depth one-on-one interviews to support the study with personal stories.
“We want this report to start an open conversation and shift the popular view of entrepreneurs from ‘tireless innovator’ or ‘lone visionary’ to one that allows them to show their vulnerability and ask for help when needed,” says Fardous Hosseiny, interim National CEO and National Director, Research and Public Policy, CMHA. “There needs to be more discussion about entrepreneur mental health and more attention paid to it by entrepreneur networks and organizations.”
Entrepreneurs surveyed reported that barriers to seeking mental health support included the cost of mental health services, lack of access to support and limited awareness of support as well as stigma-related concerns, such as concern for reputation and discomfort discussing the issue.
“Entrepreneurs are often described as the drivers of our economy. As a society, we help support, sustain and grow the health of their businesses—and it is time to do the same for their mental health,” says Michael Denham, President and CEO at BDC. “We want to make sure mental health is included in discussions about entrepreneurship in Canada. The CMHA study has enabled us to take the pulse of entrepreneurs’ well-being and now we are better positioned to take helpful action.”
Based on CMHA’s findings, BDC will work with CMHA to develop easy-to-use tools and resources that support entrepreneurial well-being. Entrepreneurs who are feeling acute symptoms of stress, depression or other form of mental distress are encouraged to see their family doctor or visit www.cmha.ca for information about available resources at the local level.