The strong link between financial anxiety and mental health

16 May 2023

It is Mental Health Awareness week this week, with a specific focus on Anxiety. We all feel anxious at times, which is not surprising given the uncertain world we find ourselves living in. If it is not a global pandemic, or talk of world war 3, then it is the cost of living crisis. I think it is fair to say that we have had (and continue to have) lots of things happening which could potentially make us feel anxious.

Looking at the current cost of living crisis, new research* released on 15th May 2023 from the mental health charity ‘Mind’, tells us that the mental health of nearly half (48%) of people in England and Wales has been negatively affected by the cost of living crisis, which increases to 73% for people who have an existing mental health problem. The research drills into more detail, with some highlights summarised below (the statistics reading even more stark for those with an existing mental health problem):

  • 56% of people who say they’ve experienced a negative mental health effect, also say the cost of living crisis has made them more anxious
  • 55% are feeling more stressed
  • 45% are feeling more depressed
  • 33% are feeling lonely

Some quite staggering statistics which really do emphasise just how many of us this is affecting. The research from Mind also shows that the majority of people who are struggling are not getting the support they need, either  from a GP, via online mental health information resources, and or through a local mental health charity.

It is important we recognise and respond when we feel anxious, to stop our anxiety becoming overwhelming. When we look at the workplace, there is an obvious link between financial anxiety and mental health. Having money worries can directly and indirectly impact not only an individual’s ability to perform efficiently in the workplace, but also on their general wellbeing.

We see this as a key focus for employers and as such, we can offer financial wellbeing education and support for our corporate clients, often at no additional cost. This benefits employees by improving wellbeing, by having a better understanding and awareness of their financial position and enabling them to make positive steps that can help them manage their money and make informed decisions. If you would like to find out more about the support we can offer, please do get in touch.

*Survey was carried out by Censuswide on behalf of Mind with a sample of 3,015 respondents across England and Wales with 1,000 in Wales and 2,015 in England between 24.03.2023 – 12.04.2023.

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