top of page

Join thousands of people receving regular insights into ideas that help people and businesses grow.

Adam Ryan Head Shot small.png

Written By

Adam Ryan

Founders and Mental Health Challenges. They need more support!

A fence with signs 'don't give up, "you are not alone", "you matter"
Founders need support. The mental and physical challenges they face are serious.

Founders of start-ups often face various mental health challenges throughout their journey. If their start-up 'fails', (whatever fails means) these challenges can be even more significant. I wanted to provide insights into some of the critical mental and physical health issues Founders experience:

  1. Stress and anxiety: Founders face high levels of stress and anxiety due to the pressure and uncertainty of starting and running a business. 72% of entrepreneurs reported experiencing mental health concerns.

  2. Depression: The isolation and pressure that comes with being a founder can lead to feelings of depression and low mood. Founders a twice as likely to suffer from depression.

  3. ADHD: Founders are six times more likely to suffer from ADHD.

  4. Burnout: Founders often work long hours and may neglect self-care, leading to burnout and exhaustion. 50% of entrepreneurs reported feeling burnout.

  5. Impostor syndrome: Many founders struggle with feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt, despite their achievements and success. 45% of entrepreneurs reported experiencing impostor syndrome.

  6. Financial anxiety: Financial instability and uncertainty can cause significant anxiety and stress for founders. A study by the University of California, San Francisco, found that 30% of entrepreneurs reported experiencing financial anxiety.

  7. Suicidal Thoughts: Founders are two times more likely to have suicidal thoughts and are twice as likely than the general populous to have psychiatric hospitalisation.

  8. Substance Abuse: three times more likely to suffer from substance abuse.

We need to support them more. We need to do better. So what are just some ideas to do this?

To better support founders, we can take the following steps:

  1. Promote mental health awareness and reduce stigma: Founders should be encouraged to seek help when needed, and mental health support should be destigmatised.

  2. Foster a culture of self-care: Encourage founders to prioritise their self-care, including taking breaks, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that bring them joy.

  3. Build support networks: Founders should be encouraged to build a support network of peers, mentors, and mental health professionals who can offer guidance and support.

  4. Address financial concerns: Founders should be offered financial counselling and support to help them navigate the financial challenges of running a business.

  5. Provide resources and education: Founders should have access to mental health resources and education to help them better understand and manage their mental health.

Final thoughts

These are very serious issues and challenges. However, the founders that have had a start-up or two that didn't make it for whatever reason are the ones that have a lot to offer. They should be celebrated by taking a risk, creating opportunities for others such as employment and attempting to solve some of the world's wicker problems, including wealth distribution. Let's support them!


About the Author

Adam Ryan Start-Up Expert

Adam Ryan is a Professor of Practice (Adjunct Professor) at Monash University and is a principal at Watkins Bay. Adam has over twenty years of start-up experience in Australia and the USA. An expert in Company Structuring for Innovation, Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Capital for early and growth-stage businesses.


Contact Details

Australia +61 (0) 418 325 387

USA + 1 (858) 252-0954


Reach out via Linked In



Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating

Join thousands of people receving regular insights into ideas that help people and businesses grow.

Adam Ryan Head Shot small.png

Written By

Adam Ryan

bottom of page