Do founders believe in mental help?
Updated: Jun 28
Results of a survey. When will you seek mental help for your startup?
How many high-tech founders turn to mental help, individually or as teams, as part of their investment in the success of their venture? Are people still embarrassed about it? or maybe its the opposite? What would make them turn and what not? do they prefer individual treatment or sessions that take care of communication and relationships? Do they prefer organic groups that work together or support groups for professionals from different companies? What is the value that founders believe this can give them?
The sample is not statistically significant but it provides a picture. 29 answered the survey, 14 of them are executives as well. None of the questions were mandatory and in most cases, it was possible to choose more than one answer. Quite a few have been to treatment privately (35%) or as part of the venture (42%), and about half have heard about colleagues who have been through the experience (47%) which was mostly positive. some wouldn't seek treatment (13%) because they feel they can manage on their own (10%), are embarrassed (10%), don't believe it will help (10%) or don't trust their partners enough (10%). Worries about business secrets were a negligible reason (3%)
What would convince those who hesitate? if they received a recommendation from someone they appreciate who has been through it themselves (61%) if they encountered a crisis (a personal crisis 42% and a team crisis 43%). Investors and board members are influential (21% for personal treatment and 26% for the team), but if they thought that that's what would save the venture or their place in it only a part (personal 37% and team 33%) would seek mental help. For individual treatment, they would trust the referral of an investor (31%) more than the referral of HR (14%), but when the referral is for the team the difference is smaller, (investors 26% and HR 20%). What is clear is that only a personal recommendation is relevant. Social network recommendations speak to only 3% of those who were asked.
Among those who would turn for help, 44% would do it privately and 53% would go when the startup gives this opportunity. A minority would turn on their own only to take care of the relationship (8%), more would seek help individually and for the team (27%), and quite a few would include the executives who are not necessarily founders in the loop (45%). Not many would include board members or investors in the loop (8%) and 20% believe in the efficacy of a support group for executives of similar roles from different companies
The preference of those who would go is for ongoing weekly, bi-weekly or monthly sessions (40%). 64% only for a major crisis that jeopardizes the venture, a relationship crisis (33%), or an individual crisis (26%)