Startup founders and investors should pay attention to mental health and wellbeing.

I read this great article on TechCrunch about this subject. Here is the link: “Investors and entrepreneurs need to address the mental health crisis in startup:

The lifestyle for building the next big thing is most of the time a hustle. And I guaranty you that a 40 hours a week is not part of an entrepreneurs’ vocabulary. There is a great misconception that in order to succeed you need to hustle and hustle hard, that unless you are suffering, grinding, working every hour of every day, you’re not working hard enough, and that if you do not hustle you will not succeed. This is one of the most toxic, dangerous things you can do to yourself.

Many have started warning about the dangers of such a hustle on the wellbeing and mental health of founders and even investors.

According to a study by Dr. Michael Freeman to investigate the prevalence and characteristics of mental health conditions among entrepreneurs and their family members, entrepreneurs are 50% more likely to report having a mental health condition.

Also, in support of this study and according to TechCrunch (in the above linked article) founders are:

  • 2X more likely to suffer from depression
  • 6X more likely to suffer from ADHD
  • 3X more likely to suffer from substance abuse
  • 10X more likely to suffer from bi-polar disorder
  • 2X more likely to have psychiatric hospitalization;
  • and 2X more likely to have suicidal thoughts

These are sad numbers and there are many ways of remedying this problem, but it’s all in the hands of the founders. There are ways to cure and to end the stress and burnout epidemic. One way is to try to be a better leader, get help from coaches and get professional one-on-one counseling. Find ways to cut down on technology and information addiction. Try to learn how to become self-aware of mental problems before they turn into problems that take longer to cure.

There is even help from the investment community. Investing platforms like Republic ensure a community and support network of fellow founders and investors, and allows investors to play an active role in the startup’s journey and lifecycle. There is no reason for traveling the startup journey alone, and there are many ways to get support from the community and friends surrounding us. Others such as The Lonely Entrepreneur community provide support groups along the lonely journey.

I don’t believe in New Year resolutions, but this year, let’s make a commitment to ourselves, our companies, our partners, and our portfolios to take care of ourselves and our teams, and build something healthy, vibrant and long-lasting.

Here is the link to Dr. Freeman’s research on the subject: