One in four people with a mental health problem are also in debt. This is backed up by research undertaken by the charity ‘Money and Mental Health Policy Institute’, which showed that people with mental health issues are 3.5 times more likely to be in problem debt, than those without mental health problems. This research also revealed that nearly half (46%) of all people in problem debt also experience a mental health problem.
Finances can be such a taboo subject and whilst some of us are often happy to show people that we look wealthy on the outside, we are not necessarily as happy discussing our finances and the fact that we may not actually be able to afford our lifestyles.
I listened to an interesting Podcast recently on this subject, which was hosted by group risk provider Unum. The Podcast can be found at https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-xizxt-f52cb8 and is well worth a listen. They pointed out how easy it is to make poor financial choices with contactless payments, buy now pay later options and the Klarna banking company all being examples of how we can be encouraged to spend irresponsibly. Many of us are not taught about money from a young age and as there are so many credit facilities available to us (which are very often easy to access), many of us have debts.
Debt can cause, and be caused by, mental health problems. It is easy to ‘bury your head in the sand’ and ignore debts. However, clearly this will just make the situation worse and potentially have an even bigger impact on your state of mind. Debt can make you feel depressed or guilty, maybe even hopeless, but it isn’t something people should be ashamed of. There are lots of options available when it comes to tackling debt but the first step should be to talk to someone you trust, which could be hugely beneficial and help elevate some stress and take some of the weight from your shoulders.
It’s safe to say that the pandemic has had a significant impact on both people’s finances and mental health, and the need for financial education and mental health support is greater than ever. These are areas that myself and the team at Wingate are passionate about and I have certainly seen, from discussions with my clients, that both of these areas are also high on the agenda for employers.
There are lots of good options available, for employer’s to help support their staff when it comes to financial and mental wellbeing. If you would like to discuss this in more detail please do get in touch.