Mental health startups have expanded rapidly in recent years, with the introduction of apps that support teletherapy, meditation, remote health monitoring, medication management, and other health factors. At the same time, many startup founders and employees are themselves facing mental health struggles.
This is not just a problem among wellness-related companies; it can affect startups in any industry. What are some common problems among startup teams, and how can they be addressed?
The mental-health problem in startups is widespread.
According to a report from Startup Snapshot in partnership with other organizations, 72 percent of startup founders and CEOs say their entrepreneurship has affected their mental health. Many of these individuals say they experience anxiety in particular.
Often these problems are associated with the emotional toll of doing business. Entrepreneurs may find it emotionally exhausting to fire employees and take other measures to cut costs. In an economic downturn, uncertainty about a startup’s future can also create anxiety.
Startup leaders may struggle with mental health symptoms while promoting their startup and trying to stay outwardly optimistic. Many may try to hide their struggles or feelings and are not open about their concerns about the future or their own health.
Startup culture may harm mental health.
The common culture within a startup may also take a toll on employees’ mental health. This culture often includes:
- Prioritizing personal achievement over everything else
- High (sometimes too high) employer expectations
- Fast pace that discourages and may even stigmatize time off and mental wellness
The high-pressure setting of a startup can lead to long work hours, lack of sleep, and poor work-life balance. This can reduce productivity, which can lead to even more financial worries.
Employee turnover may be high, creating tension within the team. Startup employees may be asked to fill multiple roles, which can cause uncertainty and stress. Employees may become dissatisfied, further threatening teamwork and the startup’s future success.
Openness and other ways to encourage mental health in startups.
Fostering a healthy workplace can help promote mental health among leaders and workers. Ironically, being more open about struggles—either the company’s or the leader’s—may encourage other employees to recognize their mental health symptoms and seek help.
Other ways to create a healthier startup environment include:
- Offering and keeping health insurance coverage for employees, making sure that it includes mental health services.
- Create a workplace wellness plan.
- Stay informed about mental health warnings in the workplace, and seek psychological support before a crisis occurs.
- Entrepreneurs should avoid social isolation and maintain a network of professionals who understand where they are coming from.
- Confide in a loved one about your mental health concerns.
Startup leaders should keep an eye on employee productivity and satisfaction. Try to encourage employees and help them feel like a valued member of the team and vital to the success of your company.
Encourage feedback from employees. This helps you understand how they are doing mentally, so you can address concerns before they become significant problems. More than that, it can be a way to gather ideas about how to improve the workplace. It can also help employees feel empowered and appreciated.
Whether you are a behavioral health startup or you’re a well-established organization that just wants to improve productivity and reduce stress, BestNotes offers tools to help make you more efficient. Contact us today to learn more!