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5 min read

The Correlation Between Money And Mental Health

That age old saying that money can’t buy happiness is certainly true but the relationship between money and mental health can be complex and often underestimated. If all is not as well as it could be in the finance department then it can significantly impact upon an individual, both psychologically and emotionally.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
March 27, 2024

That age old saying that money can’t buy happiness is certainly true but the relationship between money and mental health can be complex and often underestimated. If all is not as well as it could be in the finance department then it can significantly impact upon an individual, both psychologically and emotionally.

The stresses and strains of an unbalanced financial system, varying debts and an unstable or insufficient income can definitely lead to increased anxiety, depression and overall mental health challenges. Of course, this does not apply to all but it certainly applies to some especially if statistics are anything to go by as around one in every ten adults feel hopeless about their personal finances and at least a third of those feel anxious about their situation.

Many have campaigned for more support for those who experience mental health problems due to financial concerns and the government has listened to a certain extent, for example, the introduction of the cost of living payments - the final one of which is to be paid in February of this year and various other strategies. Yet more can be done to help prevent and support those in need.

The connection between money and mental wellbeing is multi faceted. The constant pressure and demands to meet increasing financial obligations as well as the current economic instability and cost of living crisis can act as triggers which can contribute towards stress, depression and anxiety. A closer and more detailed look indicates that financial problems can and have sadly led on to decisions to take one's life - this is how serious the issue is.

Debt is a potent source of stress and the burden of having to repay loans or managing credit card balances, often with high interest rates, can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair. Individuals also regularly feel emotions of shame and guilt which further exacerbate the already heightened mental health struggles. It is crucial to recognise the emotional toll that financial challenges take on mental wellbeing and work towards destigmatising conversations around money related wellbeing.

Additionally, existing poor mental health can contribute to financial difficulties. Struggling with various issues will invariably lead to reduced concentration, motivation and ultimately decreased productivity at work. This can develop into an unwanted cyclic pattern of financial challenges and heightened mental health struggles.

A holistic approach is required to address this delicate relationship of money and mental health with financial literacy and a solid education playing vital roles to empower individuals to manage money effectively  which can in turn reduce the stress which is associated with financial uncertainty. Creating realistic budgets, setting achievable goals and knowing exactly when and how to seek professional guidance and advice are essential steps towards financial wellbeing.

Of equal importance is the necessity of encouraging open communications about mental health and money in communities and workplaces alike which can help break down barriers and stigmas. Employers can support their staff by offering appropriate mental health resources and creating a safe and supportive working environment.

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