There is a crucial link between finance and mental health. Finances do affect your mental health. Sadly, with the cost of living crisis only increasing, more and more people are struggling.
Talking about mental health can be tricky. When it relates to finances it can be even harder, as we’re conditioned to be ashamed of having money problems.
In reality, this is something we all struggle with at times. Being more open and understanding that your finances do affect your mental health is the first step to improving and hopefully ending this growing crisis.
The latest research
Smart finance app W1TTY1 has found that three quarters (74%) of Gen Z admit managing their finances is causing them to suffer poor mental health, with half (50%) also saying they deliberately avoid checking their bank account.
It is particularly bad for women, with 82% of 18 to 24-year-old women saying managing their personal finances causes stress and anxiety.
Even more worryingly, it seems many young people are relying on debt to stay above water, using credit cards (17%) and bank loans (10%) to pay for housing, utility bills, and their day-to-day activities.
Over half (52%) of Gen Z are in debt, with the average debt standing at £1,109 of debt. This excludes mortgages and student loans.
Getting into debt so young is a real worry as it has long term implications. It also sadly suggests financial-related mental health problems are hear to stay.
Do finances affect mental health?
With the cost of living crisis in full swing, many people are suffering at the moment and worrying about how they’ll pay their bills this month. This no doubt has a large impact on mental health.
Research from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute found that 46 percent of people in problem debt also have a mental health problem. While 86 percent of respondents to a Money and Mental Health survey of nearly 5,500 people with experience of mental health problems said that their financial situation had made their mental health problems worse.
However, the reverse is also true, creating a vicious circle. Almost one in five (18 percent) of people with mental health problems are in problem debt, and those with mental health problems are three and a half times more likely to be in problem debt than people without mental health problems (5 percent).
Mental health problems make it harder to earn, manage money and spending and to ask for help. At the same time financial difficulties cause stress and anxiety, which is exacerbated by the threat of eviction or repossession and collection activities.
Recognising the strain financial worries can have on our mental health is really important – as is asking for help if you, or someone you know, is suffering, even if you think the problems are only temporary.
Where to get help
If you need help with your mental health, or support with caring for someone else, you can find advice on the Mind, Rethink or Mental Health Foundation websites, or at NHS Choices. You can also text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line.
For 24-hour support you can call the Samaritans on 116 123.
For financial advice and support you can find useful information from Citizens Advice Bureau. National Debtline also has lots of information on benefits, and what support your bank could offer if you face a drop in income on its website.
This is no means an exhaustive list and there are plenty of NHS services and charities out there offering support to anyone struggling.
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