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In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, tension and stress levels continue to surmount. The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged that the coronavirus has elevated stress within the general population and has considerably increased the presence of mental health problems. In response, the WHO recently published a list of suggestions to maintain mental well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Here are a few of the key takeaways

For the General Population: 

  1. Limit negative news - Limit the intake of negative news to a minimum  and seek information from reliable sources.
  2. Use empathetic communication - Humanize references to affected individuals by replacing words like “victims” and “cases” with “people who have COVID-19” and  “people who are being treated for COVID-19”. 
  3. Support others - Provide support to people around you, promote positive news and thank caregivers for their hard work. 

For Entrepreneurs: 

  1. Prioritize your own wellbeing - In order to be able to help others, you must first help yourself, by maintaining proper sleep, routines, exercise and diet. 
  2. Stay connected with family & friends - Do your best to maintain social connection. 
  3. Keep working -  Use modern communication tools to maintain contact with suppliers, customers, investors, etc. in order to avoid stress related to missed deadlines and work piling up. 
  4. Create new practices - This is a unique and unprecedented event, that requires unique solutions, review your internal procedures and policies in relation to COVID-19. 

For Mentors and Leaders: 

  1. Protect staff and founders  - Provide staff with the best tools to thrive under the conditions, encouraging balance.  
  2. Ensure quality information - Accurate information is vital to maintain correct procedures and responses. 
  3. Utilize a buddy system - Partner inexperienced workers with their more experienced founders or employees. 
  4. Implement flexible schedules - Give flexibility to entrepreneurs and staff. 
  5. Access to support services - Inform founders of support services available. 
  6. Orient founders - Provide strategies to cope and refer to the website for additional support. 

For Investors:

  1. Prioritize your own wellbeing - In order to be able to help others, you must first help yourself, by maintaining proper sleep, routines, exercise and diet. 
  2. Provide support to founders - With elevated tension ensure the wellbeing of founders by loosening pressures and understanding extended deadlines.
  3. Minimize risk -  Look over your portfolio companies and talk to the founders about potential risks and preventative measures to find a collaborative solution. 
  4. Communicate expectations - Eliminate friction by communicating your expectations with founders early. 
  5. Engage family and other support networks - Getting assurance from loved ones can be an important part of maintaining stability. 

For People in Isolation: 

  1. Maintain routine - Go about your day to day as best as possible, but maintain caution. 
  2. Maintain social networks online - Stay connected with friends and family. 
  3. Engage in activities - Try to maintain a relaxed environment and continue to fill your day with activities that you enjoy.

The Founder Institute is a strong proponent of mental wellbeing and in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak we believe it is more crucial than ever to provide support. Therefore, we have created a health hub to collect resources and tools to alleviate mental health related problems during these trying times. 

Please visit the Founder Institute Mental Health Hub for more information. 

If you’re an entrepreneur building a social impact company to address a global challenge, join us and apply to the Founder Institute today. 

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Founder Institute portfolio companies are creating positive social and environmental impact around the world, using structured processes to define impact KPIs that scale sustainably with their business. Read the most recent featured reports on our impact companies at, or learn about the Founder Institute's own global impact at

If you're a startup ecosystem leader pushing founders towards developing business models to create positive impact, learn more about becoming a Founder Institute program leader in your city at


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