HomeBlogLeadership Mental Health & WellbeingInvesting in Leaders’ Wellbeing for a Stronger Economy

Investing in Leaders’ Wellbeing for a Stronger Economy

In recent political debates, the phrase “big ideas” for the future of the economy has resonated strongly. Amidst discussions of innovation, infrastructure, and education, one area demands our urgent attention: the mental health and wellbeing of business leaders. Leaders, entrepreneurs, and founders are the backbone of our economy, driving growth, innovation, and job creation. However, they are also among the most vulnerable to mental health challenges. Investing in their wellbeing is not only a compassionate choice but an economic imperative.

The State of Mental Health Among Business Leaders

The mental health landscape among business leaders is alarming. Studies reveal that a significant proportion of entrepreneurs and business leaders suffer from mental health issues. A study by UC Berkeley found that 72% of entrepreneurs report having mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. The pressures of running a business, managing employees, and ensuring financial stability can take a tremendous toll on mental health.

Additionally, burnout is a prevalent issue. According to The Hustle, 63% of entrepreneurs have experienced burnout, and 59% deal with anxiety regularly. The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) reports that 79% of small business owners find running a business stressful, with 68% feeling isolated and without a support system. 

These statistics paint a stark picture of the mental health crisis facing our business leaders. The impact of these challenges extends beyond the individuals to their businesses and the broader economy. Mental health issues among leaders lead to decreased productivity, poor decision-making, and increased absenteeism, which collectively cost the UK economy billions each year.

Economic Impact of Mental Health Issues

The economic impact of mental health issues is substantial. Mental health problems cost the UK economy at least £118 billion annually, equivalent to around 5% of the GDP, according to the London School of Economics. This includes costs related to healthcare, lost productivity, and social benefits. Specifically, mental health-related presenteeism—when employees are at work but not functioning fully due to mental health issues—costs UK businesses up to £29 billion annually (Deloitte).

Furthermore, poor mental health among business leaders contributes to high turnover rates and reduced business efficiency. Absenteeism due to mental health conditions alone costs the UK economy £8 billion each year (Centre for Mental Health). These figures underscore the urgent need for targeted mental health support for business leaders. 

The Case for Investment

Investing in the mental health and wellbeing of business leaders can yield significant returns. For every £1 invested in mental health support, businesses can see a return of £5 in reduced absenteeism and improved productivity (Mental Health Foundation). This high return on investment highlights the economic benefits of prioritising mental health.

Healthy leaders are better equipped to make strategic decisions, drive innovation, and create a positive work environment. By addressing mental health challenges, we can enhance the resilience and sustainability of businesses, leading to a stronger and more stable economy.

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Key Demands and Policy Recommendations

To address the mental health crisis among business leaders, we must advocate for specific commitments from our political leaders. Here are key demands and policy recommendations:

  1. Dedicated Funding for Mental Health Services: We urge the government to commit to dedicated funding for mental health services tailored specifically for business leaders. This includes access to counselling, therapy, and mental health resources designed to address the unique challenges faced by entrepreneurs and business leaders.
  2. Mental Health Education and Training: Implement comprehensive mental health education and training programs for business leaders. Educating leaders on managing stress, recognising mental health issues, and promoting a culture of wellbeing is crucial for a thriving economy.
  3. Access to Professional Support: Ensure that business leaders have access to professional mental health support. This includes creating programs that offer counselling and therapy services to help leaders cope with stress, anxiety, and depression.
  4. Nationwide Awareness Campaigns: Launch nationwide mental health awareness campaigns to reduce stigma and promote the importance of mental health for business leaders. These campaigns should highlight the economic benefits of mental health investment and encourage leaders to seek help.
  5. Policy Integration: Integrate mental health and wellbeing support for business leaders into broader economic and health policies. This ensures that mental health support is not an afterthought but a core component of economic planning and development.

Join the Movement

The wellbeing of our business leaders is crucial for the future of our economy. By advocating for these key demands, we can create a supportive environment that enables leaders to thrive. Join us in championing investment in the mental health and wellbeing of business leaders.

📢 Support the #InvestInLeaders campaign and advocate for mental health investment! Sign the petition.

Invest in Leaders Quote by Scott Knowles of East Midlands Chamber

Investing in the mental health and wellbeing of our business leaders is a big idea that can transform our economy. It’s time for political leaders to recognise the importance of this investment and take action to support those who drive our economic growth. 

By focusing on these issues and pushing for these policies, we can ensure that our leaders are not only successful but also healthy and resilient, paving the way for a robust and thriving economy.


A Leadership Mental Health Advocate and Inspirational Speaker, Gary works with businesses and leadership teams to break the stigma and begin prioritising their own mental health and wellbeing. Reach out today to discover how Gary can support your team in cultivating a culture of wellbeing and effective leadership.

Leadership Mental Health Advocate & Inspirational Speaker

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