How to talk about mental health

When was the last time you discussed your mental health? It could have been with a friend, a family member, or a professional - but chances are, you haven’t done so for a while. Or perhaps you have?

Today is Time to Talk Day, a day created by Time to Change to get us all talking about mental health. Just like physical health, mental health is something that affects all of us. Here at Calmer, we see it as a sliding scale, and we know it can fluctuate on a regular basis.

Statistics on mental health in entrepreneurs

Mental health is something we all have, and affects 100% of us.

While we openly talk about physical health as a society, mental health often goes under the radar. The difference may be that mental health isn’t something we can see, and it isn’t something we can rate or measure. However, the mind-body connection is so interlinked and therefore the intersection of our mental, emotional and physical health plays a big part in how we think and feel on a day to day basis.

For entrepreneurs, good mental health is important because the success of your business, and your livelihood, relies on it. As we say, a happy mind makes for a happy business.

Here are a few statistics around mental health in entrepreneurs to get you thinking:

  • Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people

  • 75% of all mental health cases are established by the age of 24

  • Burnout and stress affects over 60% of entrepreneurs

  • Burnout peaks between the ages of 25 and 44

  • 38% of people with mental health problems say they've been treated negatively as a result of stigma

How to talk about mental health

To start nurturing your mental health, the first step is to recognise how you feel and communicate with others. With every conversation, we break down the stigma around mental health a little bit more.

Today, try talking about mental health with someone you trust. That could be a minute’s conversation over a cup of tea, an hour-long telephone call, or your first post in the Calmer Entrepreneur Community’s Facebook Group.

However you choose to communicate, we suggest following Time to Change’s guidelines for talking about mental health:

  1. Take it seriously – however strange a conversation around mental health might seem to you, it’s real and valuable to the person you are talking with.

  2. Listen actively – just having you to listen can make a big difference.

  3. Ask simple questions – you can keep the conversation going and help the other participant(s) to get things off their chest by asking open-ended questions.

  4. Don’t try and fix it – this isn’t always realistic and it can be more helpful to the other person if you just listen. You don’t have to have the answers to questions or problems.

  5. Build your knowledge – you might find it helpful to learn a bit more about what they’re going through, and can find out more by checking the Time to Change website or the Mind website.

Mental health support for entrepreneurs

As an organisation, we promote nurturing good mental health and wellbeing in entrepreneurs and purposeful organisations. We do this in a number of ways:

  • The Reignite Project, a free 10-week e-course on burnout prevention

  • The Calmer Entrepreneur Community, a safe space for entrepreneurs to receive emotional support and swap stories around their mental health and wellbeing, as well as their businesses

  • Digital Wellbeing Training, a set of five video mentoring modules for you to work through at a pace that suits you and your work schedule

  • Workshops and Events covering topics such as building your entrepreneurial ecosystem, discovering your personal potential, and more

We aim to provide the pastoral support and community that is often missing for people who work alone, such as freelancers, business owners, and entrepreneurs. If you would like tailored support, please contact us for more information.