Finances and health go hand in hand and affect each other through the good times and the bad. Money problems can lead to issues with mental health, but health problems can also impact work life and employment status, potentially causing people to get stuck in a vicious circle.
If an individual has generated significant debt or is struggling to afford essentials, it can spark panic and anxiety. As discussed in the previous blog, finances are often deemed a private matter, so if someone is trying to deal with the problem alone without support, or is unable to take part in social or leisure activities, it can create feelings of isolation. Constant worrying can create feelings of hopelessness, making it hard to relax and sleep at night.
When these issues aren’t addressed, it can create depression which can become severe and sadly in some extreme cases, this can ultimately end with suicide. According to a report called Silent Killer by The Money and Mental Health policy institute, 100,000 people in debt attempt suicide in the UK each year. It is worth explaining that debt is usually one of many factors that can attribute to someone committing suicide, but its still important to highlight how the issue can escalate and contribute to suicidal thoughts.
Suffering from anxiety, depression or insomnia can make it extremely difficult to concentrate at work and in some circumstances impact mood, productivity and quality of work. Mood swings, drops in engagement and poor productivity can affect relationships with co-workers, customers or suppliers and ultimately the employer. In worse case scenarios, people suffering from anxiety or depression can lead to attempts to end life.
According to a survey by CV Library, 60.2% of professionals said they would feel uncomfortable and be embarrassed to talk to their boss about a mental health problem. This suggests there is still a stigma associated with mental health. If there is a negative change in an employee’s behaviour and they haven’t disclosed any personal issues to their boss, it can result in them being dismissed and losing their income. According to the UK Government’s “Thriving at Work: a review of mental health and employers” up to 300,000 people with mental health problems lose their jobs each year.
Businesses need an adequate policy and set of procedures in place to deal with mental health and this needs to be communicated and made easy to access for all employees. This plan can be used to create awareness, which will drive an open and honest culture so that mental health is not a taboo subject. The ultimate goal is to prevent poor mental health, but if it becomes an issue, employees should not feel embarrassed about disclosing personal issues with their line manager. Employees need to know they can share sensitive information and get the support they need. There is enough technology out there for businesses to provide adequate resources for their employees.
If you are struggling with your mental health or you know someone that is, start by making an appointment with your GP or encouraging them to do so. Sharing problems with friends or family helps provide support and encouragement to get well. If you do not feel comfortable sharing your problems with anyone in your network, or you’re a friend or family member that suspects someone you care about is suffering in silence, then helplines at charities like Mind or Samaritans will listen and provide advice.
Once you start dealing with the symptoms of poor mental health, it will be easier to deal with the root cause of the issue. If money problems are the factor, then the next port of call is Citizen’s Advice because they can signpost relevant resources and charities to tackle financial situations. Always remember, there are plenty of people and organisations out there that want to help people with poor mental health and financial problems, so there is no need to stay silent or feel isolated.
There are lots of money saving tips available online. Take a look and see how many you can implement to help you become more saving savvy!
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