A growing number of Canadian entrepreneurs are feeling mental health challenges these days.
A recent survey from BDC, Canada’s business development bank, released on Tuesday found that 45 per cent of Canadian business owners indicated that they felt mental health challenges compared to 38 per cent in February 2022. The report also shows a double-digit increase in the proportion of entrepreneurs indicating they wanted to seek support from a mental health professional, a percentage that went from 21 per cent in February 2022, to 31 per cent in February 2023.
“Canadian entrepreneurs are facing a daunting challenge in today’s economic context, compounded by the scars left by the COVID-19 pandemic. Inflation rates and other factors are affecting their business in ways that are harder to control, leaving many entrepreneurs resorting to working even longer hours just to stay afloat. This is amplifying their mental health stresses because of the sometimes-devastating consequences on their personal lives and overall well-being,” said Annie Marsolais, Chief Marketing Officer and Mental Health Advocate at BDC.
“Entrepreneurship is incredibly challenging on the best of days, and we know that still too many entrepreneurs struggle in silence. While making mental health support more accessible and affordable might not seem like something a typical bank would do, it speaks to the developmental nature of BDC. We’re with entrepreneurs every step of the way, and if better mental health contributes to healthier businesses, then we will rise to the challenge.”
Key findings from the survey include:
- Over half of the business owners surveyed cite inflation as an important source of stress, and work/life balance is now a concern for 54 per cent of them, compared to 45 per cent last year;
- Half of entrepreneurs under 45 years old sought professional mental health support in the past year, while only a quarter of older entrepreneurs did.
“This stark divide underlines the pressing need for entrepreneurs to prioritize their mental well-being to thrive in the long term. The younger generation’s proactive approach to dealing with mental health sets a powerful precedent for future entrepreneurs, challenging the status quo and paving the way for a healthier business ecosystem,” added Marsolais.
BDC is set to launch a pilot project this fall, that will provide some of its existing clients with easy access to virtual therapy.
(Mario Toneguzzi is Managing Editor of Canada’s Podcast. He has more than 40 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald, covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He works as well as a freelance writer for several national publications and as a consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named in 2021 as one of the Top 10 Business Journalists in the World by PR News – the only Canadian to make the list)
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