Entrepreneurs: Make mental health a priority

November 20, 2017 - Tags: Employers Managing

As an entrepreneur, you face many challenges on a daily basis. These demands can be physical, but also psychological, which can be a lot to deal with. Having a plan to stay mentally fit and to handle these challenges in a productive way is important for your heath, as well as to the longevity of your business.

Make mental health a priority

Whether you're self-employed or manage a team of employees, mental health should be a priority for your business. Mental health includes having a sense of purpose, enjoying what you do each day, having positive support from others, feeling safe in your surroundings, and having enough energy to get things done. Stress and fatigue can negatively affect people's ability to perform tasks and reach objectives, and therefore negatively affect the business they do.

As an employer, you want your employees to do their best and be happy at work. This means providing the tools your organization needs to make that happen. However, you might also worry that the expense of investing in wellness or motivational programs could hurt your bottom line. The truth is, employee stress and mental fatigue can end up costing your business in the long run. Unhealthy and unhappy employees can lead to more leave requests, lower productivity, and an increase in turnover. You may decide that you can't afford not to invest in mental health resources.

Wellness programs and a climate of support

Creating a healthy work environment isn't just about implementing programs. You can lead by example to create an organizational culture that is supportive and enhances employee well-being. Championing good mental health can go a long way in removing the stigma some employees may experience if they are having psychological difficulties and need to ask for help or time to heal, just as they would if they suffered a physical injury.

Motivation-based training and wellness programs can teach all of us how to manage our mental and physical health, as well as things like our learning behaviour. If you plan to introduce these types of activities into your organization, you should share your intentions with anyone who might be eligible to participate. You can welcome their suggestions and even have employees set their own goals. Here are a few ideas:

  • Invite local, qualified mental health experts to speak at your place of business on topics such as nutrition, fitness, and managing stress.
  • Sponsor employees to take part in charity events, fitness campaigns, activity days, etc.
  • Encourage employees to form wellness committees with support for those who need it, or education for the team as a whole.
  • If you are self-employed, you could reach out to other like-minded entrepreneurs with whom you could engage in wellness activities, and create a network of support.

You may encounter situations where workplace or community support is not enough to address serious problems. If this is the case, it may be time to seek help from a licensed mental health professional.

Evaluate the results

It can be a challenge to quantify a “healthy workplace” but things like performance measurement can help when it comes to establishing a baseline and monitoring improvement going forward. It's a good idea to keep track of the number of participants in wellness programs or motivational training, to see if there is a direct correlation between participation and reduction in sick leave or disability claims over time.

Taking a proactive approach to mental health helps everyone deal with inevitable challenges and setbacks in a productive and healthy way. Ultimately, that's good for business!


Comments

Posted by Canada.ca on December 12, 2017
Hello Sarah,

Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are always happy to help you start or grow your business in Canada. We hope that the following information meets your needs.

You can use our program search tool to find financing and other programs. Use the filters to select your location, industry, and purpose of financing. You can also change the settings on this website to your province or territory and search on the keywords “training” and “mental health”.

You may also be interested in Mental Health Works, a social enterprise of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Its mission is to make mental health work for employers and employees from coast to coast, in both English and French. It offers resources for employers as well as online learning.

For further information about starting or growing your business in Canada, please contact us for assistance.

Thank you and good luck with your next steps.
Posted by Sarah on December 12, 2017
Hi, I am wondering if there are any grants for mental health programming and/or workshops for employees in small businesses? Or if there are any other grants that mental health workshop/programs could be covered under?
Thank you,
Sarah
Posted by Canada.ca on November 28, 2017
Hello Steph,

Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are always happy to help you start or grow your business in Canada. We hope that the following information meets your needs.

To help you grow your business, you can use our program search tool to find financing and other programs that meet your criteria for location, industry, and purpose of financing.

You may also be interested in our resources to help you start and grow a social enterprise.

For further information about starting or growing your business in Canada, please contact us for assistance.

Thank you and good luck with your next steps.
Posted by Steph on November 28, 2017
Hi, I am part owner of a fitness facility/personal training venue in Thunder Bay, ON. We have been operating since April of 2017 and have recently expanded our square footage due to a influx of members. One of our goals is to reach out to communities that suffer from Mental Health struggles as we are aware of the positive impacts of fitness training when it comes to one's mental health. In order to do this effectively we would need to expand our current equipment base so that our existing members can freely continue in their regular fitness routines while we run the group training/personal training aimed at those in need. As a Third Class Fire Fighter employed by the City of Thunder Bay, I work amidst the issues and struggles that divide the general Thunder Bay population and the surrounding Indigenous communities. My work experience has opened my eyes to the need for change. Our facility is located exactly on the river front that borders Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nations reservation and we see this as a MASSIVE opportunity to play a part in bridging the gap that divides the above mentioned communities. We are passionate about helping people reach their physical potential and believe that physical fitness plays a crucial role in having a healthy mind.
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