The full title to a recent Shopify article is “Why Mental Health Is Essential to Your Business Strategy.” I’m pleased to see an organization as influential as Shopify highlighting this issue. I addressed it in the context of our industry in my book, Characters Who Can Make or Break Your Small Business, by telling the story of suicides by colleagues. Mental health in business is a serious but neglected topic.

The bottom line is simply that business ownership is stressful and the cumulative effect of that stress can be more debilitating than we realize. We need to seek help when we need it. Here are some excerpts from the article to help convince you that mental health is a serious issue, that you’re not alone in experiencing stress, and to encourage you to seek help if you need it:

  •  In the first year of the COVID pandemic, global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25%.
  • Overworking is a coping mechanism, not a solution. “The more passionate and dedicated you are, the more mindful of burnout you have to be because you’re not necessarily going to put up those guardrails.”
  • “Burnout is essentially a repetitive stress injury, where we’re using the neurological circuitry over and over. It’s brain damage. We can see it visibly on an FMRI of someone who has high levels of burnout.”

Your mental health and the overall health of your business are intertwined. Take care of your mental health for your sake, for the sake of those around you, and for the sake of your business.