Mental health issues have become less and less of a taboo in our world today. More people are joining the discussions, and more people are educating themselves on this social issue. There have also been more and more studies published about the issue, and through this, we learn a lot more about a topic that once was a shame.
There are things that we can just no longer ignore when it comes to the discussions on mental health, such as depression has become one of the leading causes of death alongside heart attacks and cancer. It’s also worth noting that 676 million people are affected by mental health issues worldwide. This number also includes the children ages five to sixteen who have diagnosable conditions. All these different statistics and studies on mental health cannot be swept under the rug again. We should all take part in creating a change in these numbers.
The first thing we should do is to identify the root cause of these issues. Now, there are many reasons why mental health issues affect a person. This may stem from bullying, abuse, trauma, or even family issues that remain unresolved. These harsh realities reflected in many studies and statistics are foundations of other issues that cause mental health issues. Right now, we will be focusing on the family business as a cause of mental health issues.
Although a family business has a long list of pros and benefits that we cannot deny, it also comes with a long list of reasons why it can cause us mental health issues and other cons. Running a business can be stressful, but this can be a good kind of stress that motivates you to become productive, but there is also a kind of stress that causes anxiety when trying to perform our tasks. The problem is that regular bouts of stress can often lead to a more serious mental health issue.
Reasons for feeling stressed while running a family business can be a long list, but I have a few here today that can help you understand this a bit more. First, bringing work home. A simple dinner or gathering with the family can easily turn into a meeting that may lead to arguments or disagreements on certain issues.
Second, the limited time for relaxation. What happens is since you have brought work home and you have made a few disagreements on things, your chances of taking a step back and breathing can be slimmer than usual. Next, external views may not be considered. Since it is a family business, everyone managing it is part of the family and maybe affected or swayed by family traditions or beliefs. There must be someone outside the family that looks into things to help sort things out from a different perspective.
Now, let us talk about how we can balance this out and prevent anyone from having mental health issues. The most important thing to do is to educate. This should not be just us understanding how mental health issues works and how it happens, this is not school. Educating ourselves on mental health should also involve action. This means we train the managers to appreciate how the different mental health issues may manifest, how they can compensate for these conditions, how to spot mental health issues in an employee, and how to tackle difficult conversations of mental health.
What we should do is to treat mental health just like physical health because believe it or not, these two are intertwined. The body is only as healthy as the mind is, so if we do not ensure that our minds are at its best, then we can never expect anyone to perform with their 100 percent. When a family member within the business starts to manifest signs of mental health issues, this can come in poor performance, social awkwardness, moodiness, and/or the inability to work with other people.
Remember, mental health issues are a medical issue and not an issue of attitude or character. We should never invalidate or de-value our family’s feelings because this is not something that they can control. What we should do as a family in business is to support each other and make sure that everyone is in a healthy place in their lives.
Do not forget to ask the people in your life how everything is going with them and when you do spot warning signs, it is best to hear them out and try to get them the help they need or maybe give them more love and support. There should never be a reason for anyone to feel like they cannot come to a family with issues they may be facing in their life. Business or not, a family is a family, and family should always come first.