To celebrate World Mental Health Day on October 10, we're spotlighting articles and resources that can help you or someone you know improve their mental health.
William Shakespeare once wrote, “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”. Recited by the titular 15th-century English king in the play Henry IV, this statement encapsulates the fact that those in positions of power carry the weight of the “kingdom” on their shoulders—and it’s often not the prettiest.
Today, modern day “rulers” abound in the form of CEOs. These kings of companies appear to reign over staff, clients and customers, but in reality, they are in key positions to serve their people by being an inspirational leader, effective boss and idea-generating, money-making machine in order to achieve satisfaction, in whatever shape or form needed. This, in turn, puts CEOs at the bullseye of high-pressure environments, targeted by rising demands, deadlines, bottom lines and expectations from every direction. Plus, being at the top often means being alone, and that can take a serious toll on a CEO’s mental health, if not addressed accordingly.
The Numbers Game
According to a global study by Oracle released earlier this year, 53 per cent of C-Suite execs struggled with work-related mental health issues during the pandemic compared to 45 per cent of their employees. It may not be that wide of a gap numbers-wise, but keep in mind that a lot of the pressure to improve the mental health of employees and the state of the company in general also fills the CEO’s plate.
The study also noted that C-Suite execs had the hardest time adapting to working from home, with 85 per cent reporting challenges around virtual transitions, increased anxiety and stress, and the absence of workplace culture. It also found that they were most open to using AI for mental health support, with 73 per cent opting to talk to robots or digital assistants—revealing not only a high demand for such support, but also a greater trust in technology versus human support or interaction.