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Entrepreneurs Mental Health: It's Okay not-to-be Okay

Entrepreneurs Mental Health: Free Canadian Mental Health Programs and Resource List

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, CMHA, half of the people in Canada will have mental health problems or illnesses by age 40. Let’s reflect on that for a minute. Mental health is not a topic most people are quick to discuss. That includes us, Entrepreneurs. Let’s face it; entrepreneurship is a hard, lonely and only-for-the-faint-of-heart profession. Many don’t talk about mental health issues affecting us…But, it’s okay not to be okay.

In 2019, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Going it Alone study in partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) found 62% of business owners feel depressed at least once a week.

Canadian Mental Health Association carried out a nationwide monitoring survey on the mental health impacts of COVID-19 released on December 3, 2020.

  • Most people in Canada (71%) are worried about the second wave of the virus.
  • 58% are concerned about a loved one or family member dying.
  • Only 21% feel hopeful.
  • 40% of Canadians say their mental health has deteriorated since March, with the decline more pronounced in those who are;
  • unemployed (61%),
  • those with a pre-existing mental health issue (61%),
  • younger people aged 18-24 (60%),
  • Indigenous peoples (54%),
  • those identify as LGBTQ2+ (54%)
  • and those with a disability (50%).
CMHA’s 2019 study finds 62% of business owners feel depressed at least once a week

Now, imagine the same said for Immigrants struggling with settling down in a new country.

Now top that with being an Immigrant Entrepreneur battling with the conditions set by measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. Unlike employees, entrepreneurs do not always have access to medical benefits. We are responsible for our well being – like it or not. Entrepreneurs are also responsible for others. We ensure our employees get paid on time; our team and the business are well cared for.

If, in the case, you are a sole proprietor or solopreneur, what happens when you are not okay to keep things going?

The feeling is great when we solve our customer’s or client’s problems, but you need to first take care of yourself. Your clients will thank you for doing so.

The Canadian Mental Health Association offers free mental health therapy, and it is virtual. You don’t have to leave your home to ask for help.

Last week, I was lucky to have come across some fantastic suggestions from friends after I posted something on my social media channels. I thought to share the list of health centres here so you can access free Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) across Canada without the need of those coveted health benefits many entrepreneurs go without.


Wellness Together Canada is a program funded by Canada’s government in response to mental distress caused by the pandemic. Wellness Together Canada provides free access to mental health professionals across Canada.


AbilitiCBT is an online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program. Free for residents of Ontario and Manitoba.


Counselling Connect offers quick access to a free phone or video counselling session. This service is also made available for anyone – children, youth, adults and families. Counselling Connect offers its services to residents in Ottawa and the surrounding area. Counselling Connect offers counsel to newcomers concerned about adjusting to life in Canada. Check out Counselling Connect to learn more about how they can help protect your mental health.


Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) provides advocacy, programs and resources that help prevent mental health problems and illnesses.

To learn more about how CMHA helps Canada’s Entrepreneurs download its 2019 report titled – Going it Alone: The Mental Health and Well-being of Canada’s Entrepreneurs.

CMHA has built its presence in over 330 communities. Visit find-your-cmha to find your CHMA near you. Here is the link for Ottawa’s residents and communities.


Mind Beacon is a digital platform that offers a Personalized Cognitive Behavioural Therapy program with guidance from a therapist. Useful for a diverse range of concerns, including anxiety, depression & more. But, not suitable for people struggling with eating disorders or the use of substances. It offers a free service for Ontario residents, accessible for 52 weeks. Continue reading to learn how Mind Beacon works.


The Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region plays a crucial role in establishing a community where individuals in need are supported and empowered to meet life’s challenges. Distress Centre contributes to a healthier and safer community by providing suicide prevention, crisis intervention, psychological stabilization, emotional support, information, referral and education services, without judgement, to individuals in need.


Babylon by TELUS Health helps people living in Canada have more options when accessing healthcare. 1 out of 7 families does not have access to a family doctor, especially with the pandemic. Babylon by TELUS health closes that gap.

Babylon by TELUS Health lets you see a doctor, mental health counsellor or dietitian from your phone, where and when it’s convenient for you.

Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) covers Doctor consultations for Ontario residents.


Virtual Counselling Ontario provides affordable and accessible counselling to everyone in Ontario, without long wait times.


Canadian Institute of Health Research is Canada’s federal funding agency for health research. CIHR provides a wellness resource on COVID-19 and the Mental Health initiative.


participACTION is a free app and resource guide to help you discover how physical activity can improve your life. You will find guides designed to help early years, children, youth, adults, and various life areas – energy, sleep, work and more.


The Walk-In Counselling Clinic provides immediate counselling services to individuals, couples, and families. The walk-in sessions are free to all members of the communities—no restrictions based on age or location/address and no need for an appointment.

Currently offers remote/virtual counselling due to Stay-at-Home order.


Hay House offers a diverse selection of courses offered by the world’s leading experts.

Learn and evolve at your own pace with interactive, audio and video-based courses from today’s top experts on health, wellness, spirituality, relationships, career and more.


Overseas Friends of India Canada (OFIC)  partners with the Canadian Red Cross to offer – Free Private (One-on-One) therapy sessions related to COVID-19 to vulnerable and eligible Ontario residents of any background such as national origin, race, sex, religion etc.

This program will end on February 19, 2021. Contact OFIC at for more details.

We are Entrepreneurs, but we are first humans. Business is human and serves humans.

Taking care of your mental health as a business owner goes a long way. When stressed, people around you notice. Your employees feel it when they communicate with you. Your clients will read your body language and things you fail to deliver – unknown to you.

But being in a good state of well-being boosts a positive approach to solving problems. Your positivity creates a fun and stress-free environment for all to grow. when in good shape

I suggest you check all websites on the list, compare what they offer, and choose to work with. If you need someone to talk to, you can connect with me or send me an email at

I hope you find this resource list useful like I did. And helpful towards protecting your mental health as an entrepreneur.



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