30% of small business owners struggle to access mental health therapy – London Business News


According to a new study from iwoca, one of Europe’s largest small business lenders, only 30% of small business owners with symptoms of poor mental health have sought help from a counselor or a professional. therapist.

A survey of over 1,000 small business owners found that lack of information about one-on-one support was the main reason for not accessing mental health help, with one in four owners (24 %) unaware that specific help for small businesses existed and one in five did not feel comfortable talking about mental health.

Free and confidential mental health support is now available for all small businesses in the UK

iwoca is launching free therapy sessions for all small business owners in the UK – in partnership with the Spill therapy platform – to make it easier for small business owners to access the support they need. All small business owners will be able to talk to trained mental health professionals via video.

The stress of owning a business affects mental well-being

More than a quarter (27%) of small business owners believe that owning a business has a negative impact on their mental health. Despite the mitigation of the pandemic, the survey found that three in four small business owners (72%) are worried about cash flow and 55% are worried about having to temporarily shut down their business. This is compared to 51% and 63% respectively in iwoca’s last SME owner survey in January 2021.

The survey found that 36% of them suffer from anxiety and one in five show symptoms of depression several times a month. Overall, 61% experience at least one symptom of poor mental health several times a month, an increase from 57% in January 2021.

Seema Desai, Director of Operations at iwoca, said: “Our research lifts the veil on the impact that running a business can have on the mental health of SME owners; and the pressures many of them face have worsened throughout the pandemic.

“We must therefore do everything possible so that our cafes, hairdressers and electricians can access the right support – adapted to them – to help them face the challenges that running a business can create.

“We have been providing mental wellness support through Spill to iwoca employees for over a year – this is one of our most valued benefits. Based on what we’ve learned about the mental health needs of small business owners, we’re now excited to extend this offering to them – to make sure they have access to the best support available, for free.

Will Allen-Mersh, Partner at Spill, added: “Ensuring our mental well-being should always come first. So we think it’s important that everyone has access to therapy; and small business owners should certainly be no exception. In fact, as iwoca’s research shows, owning a business can make it even more difficult to take care of your mental health.

“We are therefore delighted that iwoca is helping small business owners access our confidential professional therapy, and we hope that the support we provide will help them cope with the pressures that running a business can bring. “

Small business owner and iwoca client Rebecca Lockwood – owner of a training consultancy for women entrepreneurs in Yorkshire – said: “As a business owner I really have to keep the spirit on the right track. Before I trained in neurolinguistic programming, I didn’t understand how to do this and found myself a lot to compare with other people and other business owners. I found myself in a rough spot thinking that I had to do everything and be everything – a mom, a business owner, a wife – to be successful.

“There is a misconception that you have to work all the time to be successful. There is so much more pressure on you to make sure you are doing it right and we can create that perception in our minds that causes a negative loop. What most people don’t think about is how productive rest is for our state of mind and mental health.

“I tap into my own support and make sure I contact myself at least weekly. I have worked with coaches and self-taught to help me with the direction and the mindset which has had a huge positive effect on my mental health. Working with a coach or therapist can really have an impact on your mental well-being; you are able to let out whatever is going on in your mind with a sounding board. A lot of people don’t consider doing it because it isn’t talked about enough.

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