WINDSOR, ONT. -- In an effort to help business owners with mental health support, a new toolkit was released Thursday that offers guidance on preventative strategies.

WEtech Alliance in Partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Windsor-Essex branch (CMHA-WECB) developed a toolkit that offers entrepreneurs and business owners strategies to “optimize mental health and well-being.”

“While many view entrepreneurship as a dream career full of excitement, it can also be full of burnout, loneliness and stress,” Yvonne Pilon, president and CEO at WEtech Alliance, said in a news release. “This toolkit provides us with yet another tangible tool to help support the close to 300 founders and companies we engage with every year.”

The toolkit is part of the Entrepreneurs on the Front Lines community collaboration project which is aimed at helping business-owners identify mental health strengths, explore areas of improvement, develop new coping mechanisms, and prevent and manage mental health crises.

"A toolkit like this makes life so much easier,” said entrepreneur, Nichole Howson, who was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder seven years ago. “Having a safety plan is so important. Many of the steps and tips referenced in the toolkit are the exact steps that I take to get myself out of that hole before it gets too far.”

WETech Alliance said preventing the onset of mental health problems before they occurring, and supporting others is an important approach to improving mental health in communities as well as “contributing to economic prosperity.”

“This collaboration is a powerful part of a start to 2021,” said Kim Willis, communications director at CMHA-WECB. “When people start to recognize that asking for help is part of a healthy lifestyle then we can really make change. Our theme this year is Move the Dial. We are grateful to WEtech Alliance for initiating this with their partners and as we continue to Move the Dial in our Million Dollar Fund-raising campaign this toolkit can be adapted for others as well.”

To view or download the toolkit visit the CMHA-WECB website.