#StartupChats | Mental Health and Building Healthy Habits

On Monday, October 30, we hosted our final #StartupChats of the year, where we discussed mental health and building healthy habits for entrepreneurs! This chat was hosted by Startup Canada’s marketing and communications manager Jocelyn, with special guests ​Hailey Hechtman, Executive Director of Unsinkable, and Darren Anderson, Founder/Director of Love, My Mind Initiative Inc. Unsinkable is a charitable organization focused on mental health advocacy for youth and families through the power of storytelling. Love My Mind Initiative is a non-profit founded in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They raise funds to promote and spread awareness for mental health and fund smaller projects related to suicide prevention, addiction, and other related illnesses that affect the lives of our loved ones.

This #StartupChats was presented by our partners at Mastercard. 

Check out these highlights from our discussion:

Darren: Speaking from the business and entrepreneurship side of things, especially during and after the pandemic, it is really important to take time for yourself and away from your business. It’s essential to take a step back and keep your business at arm’s length to protect your mental health and the health of your family and loved ones. 

Hailey: There is a lot of romanticization in this space about freedom and flexibility, and all of those things can be possible, but there is also a lot of hard work that comes into running a business. It’s important to look at what is achievable in a day to help break things down into manageable steps and avoid burnout. 

Darren: As an owner and manager, supporting our team starts with being accountable for our own mental health. If we get ourselves in a great space as a leader, we can get our team there and even our clients! Sometimes, this starts with beginning every call with an open and honest conversation about life and sharing stories. 

Hailey: As a leader, an important part of caring for your team’s mental health is modelling. Showing how you deal with your own mental health and well-being and making space for those vulnerable conversations so that your team feels comfortable coming forward and speaking out when they are in need. 

Darren: It’s challenging to ride those waves of negative emotions. You have to stay connected. Having those support people to talk to when you are on those low waves is very important. A lot of the time, they are going through something similar, and you can ride those waves together. 

Hailey: Stacking habits is a good way to build daily health habits. If you’re already doing something else, like commuting to work, you can add something to it, like using that time to listen to a podcast episode. There is also a lot of power in connection and building a community of people you can reach out to and talk to. 

Resources & Tools

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