SkysTheLimit.org centers the topic of mental health among black male entrepreneurs for Men’s Health Awareness Month

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Sky’s the Limit knows that mental health is the most underrated and overlooked element of entrepreneurial success, especially for Black entrepreneurs, who excel at creating something out of nothing. Let’s elevate the trajectory of black male entrepreneurs!

SkysTheLimit.org (“Sky’s the Limit”), the digital community transforming the playing field for entrepreneurial success, recognizes that for Black entrepreneurs across the United States, the challenges of owning a business – common to all entrepreneurs – are exacerbated. by social injustices and lower levels of collaboration with other communities. Due to the stigma among black men that mental health therapy means showing weakness – research is increasingly revealing how norms and assumptions of black masculinity make it harder for black men to show vulnerability or to share their emotions – the culture of hustle leaves little room for a focus on mental health. With Mental Health Month last month and National Men’s Health Month in full swing right now, it’s particularly poignant.

Sky’s the Limit knows that mental health is the most underrated and overlooked element of entrepreneurial success – even though the entrepreneurial community as a whole is generally silent about the impact mental health has on their lives and their lives. companies. We also know that according to recent research, almost three-quarters of entrepreneurs are affected by mental health issues, compared to about half of non-entrepreneurs. Additionally, entrepreneurs were significantly more likely to report a lifetime history of depression, substance use, and bipolar diagnosis than non-entrepreneurs.

Documented racism and bias within the healthcare system has made some people in the black community less likely to seek treatment. This situation is compounded by a general lack of access to appropriate and culturally appropriate mental health care. But we do know that exposure to racism and discrimination is linked to various adverse mental health effects. The effects of systemic racism on Black Americans have been persistent, deep and ongoing – and the impact of it all can become chronic.

Even when they know or suspect they have mental health issues, black men are far more reluctant to seek treatment – ​​even as mental health issues in black communities continue to rise. According to SAMHSA, rates of major depressive disorder among young black adults ages 18 to 25 increased by more than 3% between 2015 and 2018. Additionally, according to the U.S. Department of Health’s Office of Minority Health and services, black adults are more likely than white adults to experience persistent symptoms of emotional distress, such as sadness, hopelessness, and feeling like they have to put extra effort into everything they do.

So what should you do if you’re a black entrepreneur struggling with a mental health issue? We have some tips:

  • Having a support system in place is essential; even beyond family or friends, who may or may not be supportive. Sky’s the limit is a great way to connect with a community of entrepreneurs, many of whom are also black. Connecting with other entrepreneurs can help nurture feelings of belonging and being with others who understand the process intimately.
  • Realize that you will be even stronger if you prioritize mental and physical well-being; acknowledging you have a problem doesn’t mean showing weakness – quite the opposite.
  • Tap into free resources – networks of mentors and coaches; online communities where they can share and receive tips and advice. Sky’stheLimit.org is a perfect example. Small business owners literally surround themselves with coaches and mentors who can identify proactive ways to move forward.
  • Self-care is always important, whether it’s through exercise, meditation, or making time to get outside and be in nature (or all of the above).
  • Seeking professional help is always a vital step in staying mentally strong; it is also completely confidential and can often be obtained virtually. Also, counseling is not for the “crazy”; it’s a tired, undeserved stereotype. There is no shame in getting treatment from an objective professional.

Entrepreneurs share a story of overcoming obstacles to realize and monetize their dreams – especially Black entrepreneurs, who excel at creating something from nothing. Let’s elevate the trajectory of black male entrepreneurs!

About SkysTheLimit.org:

SkysTheLimit.org is a nonprofit organization whose platform connects underrepresented entrepreneurs with volunteer professionals for free one-on-one mentorship. Sky’s the Limit’s mission is to build a global community where all entrepreneurs and their allies can build meaningful relationships and grow together. The team also offers education and training opportunities to all members as well as monthly fundraising opportunities.

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Jessica C. Bell