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Concerns Rise About Business Owners’ Mental Health

Running your own venture can be isolating, professionals say, and vulnerable entrepreneurs need more support.

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The number of entrepreneurs seeking Dr. Michael Freeman’s help has been climbing since the pandemic upended life in the U.S. “Elevated stress levels, elevated anxiety, and elevated levels of depression are common among people in my practice,” says the Bay Area psychiatrist-psychologist, who since 2005 has focused his practice exclusively on entrepreneurs. “Many have been adversely affected by the pandemic and its many manifestations.”

More than 40% of Americans have reported negative mental or behavioral health conditions since the start of the pandemic, according to research released in August by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Freeman is among the mental health professionals around the country concerned about small business owners’ well-being. Beyond the personal toll, entrepreneurs who feel isolated and overwhelmed by forces they can’t control find it harder to make their businesses survive or to hatch new ventures, according to Freeman and other professionals.