SkysTheLimit.org Centers the Topic of Black Male Entrepreneurs’ Mental Health 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 Black entrepreneurs, who excel at creating something from nothing. Let’s raise the trajectory for Black male entrepreneurs!

SkysTheLimit.org (“Sky’s the Limit”), the digital community transforming the playing field for entrepreneurial success, acknowledges that for Black entrepreneurs across the United States, the difficulties of owning a business – common to all entrepreneurs – are exacerbated by social injustices and lower levels of collaboration with other communities. Because of the stigma among Black men that mental health therapy means showing weakness – research increasingly reveals how Black masculinity norms and assumptions make it more difficult for Black men to show vulnerability or share emotions – hustle culture leaves little room for focus on mental health. With mental health month just last month, and National Men’s Health Month in full swing right now, this is 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 at large remains mostly silent about the impact mental health has on their lives and businesses. We also know that according to recent research, almost three fourths of entrepreneurs are affected by mental health issues, compared to around half of non-entrepreneurs. In addition, entrepreneurs were significantly more likely to report a lifetime history of depression, substance use, and a bipolar diagnosis than were non-entrepreneurs.

Documented racism and bias within the healthcare system have made some people in the Black community less likely to seek treatment. This is compounded by a general lack of access to culturally responsive and appropriate mental health care. But we know that exposure to racism and discrimination are linked to various adverse mental health outcomes. The effects of systemic racism on Black Americans have been persistent, profound, and continuous – and the impact of all of this can grow 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 challenges among Black communities continue to rise. According to SAMHSA, rates of major depressive disorder in young Black adults ages 18 to 25 increased by more than 3% between 2015 and 2018. Moreover, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, Black adults are more likely than white adults to experience persistent symptoms of emotional distress, such as sadness, hopelessness, and feeling that they have to dedicate extra effort to everything they do.

So, what should you do if you’re a Black male entrepreneur who is struggling with a mental health condition? We have a few tips:

  • Having a support system in place is critical; even beyond family or friends, who may or may not serve as support. Sky’s the limit is an excellent way to connect with a community of entrepreneurs, many of them Black as well. Connecting with other entrepreneurs can help nurture feelings of belonging and being with others who understand the process intimately.
  • Realizing you will be even stronger if you prioritize mental and physical wellness; recognizing that you are struggling with an issue does not mean displaying weakness – it’s quite the opposite.
  • Tapping 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 of this. Small business owners literally surround themselves with coaches and mentors who can identify proactive ways to move forward.
  • Practicing self-care is always important, whether it be through exercise, meditation, or taking time to go outside and be in nature (or all of the above.)
  • Reaching out for professional help is always a vital step in staying mentally strong; it is also entirely confidential and can often be obtained virtually. What’s more, counseling is not for ‘crazy’ people; this is a tired and meritless stereotype. There is no shame in obtaining treatment from an objective professional.

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

About SkysTheLimit.org:

SkysTheLimit.org is a non-profit organization whose platform connects underrepresented entrepreneurs with volunteer business professionals for free one-on-one mentoring. 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 provides education and training opportunities to all members as well as monthly funding opportunities.

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