Founder Well-being

Founder well-being and mental health resources and support for startup founders and entrepreneurs

Big ambitions come with big burdens - which is why burnout can be so prevalent among startup founders. Research has shown that entrepreneurs are 50% more likely to report a mental health condition, a statistic that may be more distressing in light of the current situation.

Activator wants to see our founders succeed in business – but not at the expense of their mental health. Hence, we’ve curated a list of reliable resources to help startup founders better manage their mental well-being. 

Matt Salier

"There has never been a more important time to look out for each other as we individually and collectively grapple with what a new normal will look like. For our founders working hard on building enduring value in new enterprises, we know how important it is to look after yourself. These resources provide some wonderful ways to do so and keep persepective."

Matt Salier, Director, RMIT Activator 

"Mental health is the most important aspect of holding a strong and viable business together. Without a healthy team, we cannot have a successful business. As leaders, we need to prioritise the health and well-being of our team and ourselves."

James Lolicato, Coach (Well-being), RMIT Activator 

Resources and Support

Head to Health: Get trusted information and digital support from the Australian Department of Health surrounding the outbreak, tips for maintaining good mental health, information on how to access mental health services, information for parents, and how to keep older Australians safe and connected. A guide on managing your well-being COVID-19.

Life in Mind: A comprehensive list of mental health resources to help those affected. 


Happify: Get free access to activities and games designed to train people to disrupt patterns of negative thinking, manage stress, and build skills to overcome life challenges.

Activator Strava: Your physical health makes a huge impact on your headspace. Get fit and healthy with our Activator community by joining our Strava clubs for running and cycling.  

Pilot: Practical tools for men’s health, including GP referrals for mental health.

Lysn: Helps you find your best fit online psychologist. Their online counselling sessions are now covered by Medicare too.

Thrive Inside: A special initiative from Smiling Mind to help you proactively support your psychological wellbeing while you’re spending extended periods of time at home.

Headspace: Cultivate mindfulness for everyday life with guided meditations.

Moodkit: Improve your mood by applying effective strategies of professional psychology to everyday life.

Gillian Ong

"We’ve definitely hit a roadblock with our business - suspension of face-to-face therapy for early intervention clients means that we’re unable to test and validate our business idea for now. However, we’ve doubled our efforts into building a free version of our app, which we hope will serve as an interim form of emotional wellbeing support for parents and families of autistic children.

To startup founders out there – taking care of your headspace isn’t about being constantly positive. Take a deep breath and just do your best. Left foot, right foot, keep on going, like you always have."

- Gillian Ong, Co-founder, A.I on Spectrum

Moderated Forums

Beyond Blue Online Forums: Safe, supportive, moderated online peer support for a range of mental health issues and demographics.

Sane Australia: Safe, anonymous mental health discussions, moderated 24/7 by mental health professionals.  

24/7 Support Services

How can we help? 

RMIT Activator is constantly looking for ways to support our founder community. Let us know here.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer