Emotional Toll of COVID – Bob Harder Firebird Business Consulting – Saskatoon
Much has been made of the financial cost of the Covid-19 pandemic but what about the cost to the mental health of many small business owners?
Prior to early 2020, the average business owner in Canada was faring well. Some areas of the country were outpacing others but overall, we had little to complain about compared to other parts of the world. Then came the massive price drop in oil that hurt an already decimated Canadian oil industry and then… Covid-19 and the devastating effect both physically and financially. Governments frantically implemented policies in an attempt to keep our populace safe but along with these safety measures came severe financial implications.
While we have all read countless articles regarding the financial toll on Canadian businesses, how many of us have considered the mental health toll on both business owners and employees. Our jobless rate is soaring and many individuals are struggling to pay for the basic necessities. Many businesses have been forced to lay off most or all of their work force. Imagine the stress as a business owner having to make those decisions or the employee facing a lay-off and the financial implications that follow. Aside from the psychological toll on the individual, consider the impact this can have on a relationship. Financial difficulties are one of the main sources of friction between couples.
Recent news articles are showing a marked increase in calls to suicide hotlines as well as an increase in domestic violence complaints with Covid-19 is cited as the reason for this troubling upsurge.
What can we as individuals do? Perhaps we should take the time to reach out to a friend or colleague who we know is suffering and provide encouragement or an offer to help. A phone call, text or better yet, choose from the myriad of networking platforms that are available. A Face-time, Google Hangout, Skype or Zoom chat might mean the world to them. A few minutes of your day can make a monumental difference to someone fighting depression, fear or anxiety.
Too often, we post only articles that might potentially provide us with a financial reward. The hope is that by sharing or re-posting this article, we will be reminded that someone we know is likely suffering and it takes very little effort to make their day better.