Making Mental Health A Priority

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, employers, schools, communities and family businesses are realizing the need to focus on mental health and support people who need help. The topic of mental health regularly trends on social media. This is very good news, as it helps destigmatize treatment in educational and business settings.

While we are all doing our level best during this season of unprecedented change and adversity, sometimes coping just is not good enough. When the emotional and psychological burden becomes too great, anxiety and depression creep in and can debilitate our sense of purpose and daily existence. It has become everyone’s job to deal with mental health.

Family businesses alike ,in no smaller role, being by their innate nature, self active in communities at large , have taken this worrying fact on board and have set out to look out for the welfare of their employees and family members alike. Open channels of communication might serve to alleviate the burden of such worrying times , words spoken can sometimes do the job and if not than other forms to reach the required goal need to be sought after.

Most tend to gain their emotional and psychological security from things like money, jobs and status. While there is nothing inherently wrong with these, they all have one thing in common: They are extrinsic in nature and therefore temporary. During the last 18 to 24 months of disruption, many people who appear successful actually are feeling out of control. If you or your family members are trying to navigate this existential funk on your own and it’s taking a toll on your mental health, you are not alone.

Here is the silver lining: Adversity builds grit, character and emotional muscle. And we all need those things to handle life’s most challenging circumstances. In contrast to all the negativity we see in the media, we have also seen some extraordinary people and family businesses express an abundance of compassion and generosity despite their own journey of grief and loss. The retelling of these personal stories can become a positive social contagion that can infiltrate even the most rigid and unhealthy family business cultures. The trick is to share them often and intentionally.

Effective family business leaders become wellness warriors. They show us that it is OK to not be OK, counteracting the stigma that mental illness can carry. The goal of well-being is deceptively simple: to be still and quiet the mind so that your natural gifts of empathy, curiosity and wonder can calm the currents of fear and doubt. We all need a little help getting to this place of recalibration. So, get yourself going. Help others around you. And, when necessary, widen the circle and invite others in who are professionally trained to help.

Here in Malta , similar to the rest of the world , the consequences of the pandemic, notwithstanding the size of us , has been felt and we should not discount the fact that the repercussions could have significantly impacted the mental health of a range of people.

To this end, the local government , through the entity of Malta Enterprise has sought ways of reaching out to people in need and has created a specifically dedicated initiative to mitigate, the Ment programme.

Mentrepreneurial (Ment+) is a programme designed by Richmond Foundation in collaboration with Malta Enterprise and Business 1st to equip business owners and company directors with the right tools to build more resilient minds to face the challenges brought about in the business environment by the Covid-19 pandemic. The project is being supported by The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry and the Malta Chamber of SMEs. For further information please do visit

( All factual and statistical information presented in this blog has been obtained from an extract of an article from the ) Follow us on our Facebook page and Family Business Office website at

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