Money problems can often have a negative impact on your mental health, even if many would consider you to be wealthy and living a comfortable lifestyle.

From anxiety or panic, to guilt, shame and stress, money can affect us in unexpected ways, which is why good financial health has such a strong relationship with mental health.

For World Mental Health Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health, and driving positive change across the world – we’re taking the opportunity to highlight ways to stop money problems becoming health problems.

World Mental Health Day: How financial health affects mental health

Finances can impact your mental health

If you’re facing financial hardship, or if you’ve experienced tough times in the past, certain situations may trigger anxiety or panic, such as opening bills or checking bank statements – especially in today’s economic climate.

Worrying about money can lead to sleep problems and it can impact your social life. Financial worries might make you feel stressed from the pressure of supporting yourself and others and if problems persist, it can make you feel tired or worn down.

You might also have unhealthy attitudes toward saving or spending money, such as a compulsion to hoard or to splurge money which can negatively impact your life or that of others. It’s also quite common to associate money with happiness which can lead you to ‘treat yourself’ by overspending if you’re feeling low, and there are also more 246,000 people in the UK with an addiction to gambling.

Even people who have no financial problems can find their mental health negatively affected by money and this can even come from a sense of guilt in spending money or having wealth.

Practical financial help

If you’re worried about money, there are plenty of organisations and forums out there to help provide advice and guidance on what to do next, including the Government website, which features advice on redundancies, benefits, dismissals and debt. Citizens Advice is also a great resource to rely on in more difficult times, with many informative pages to help with money worries.

It might also help to make use of services such as ours, where we can manage your finances on your behalf, so you can get on with life without needing to worry about your money.

How to look after your mental health

Talking is one of the best methods for looking after your mental health – chatting about both everyday life, and what might be getting you down. Starting a conversation isn’t always easy, but you’ll definitely feel better for it afterwards.

There are many other things that you can do too, such as:

Get regular exercise of at least 30 minutes a day

Make sure to get enough sleep – 7-8 hours is best

Eat regular, healthy meals and stay hydrated

Book an appointment with your GP if you need additional help

Try Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Practice gratitude and self-care

Practising mindfulness, using apps such as Calm or Headspace

Online mental health support

In a crisis, call an emergency hotline

Some important contacts to note down

If you, or anyone that you know may be struggling with mental health, then it’s important to know where to turn to for support:

CALM Helpline – 0800 585 858 or use their webchat.
Anxiety UK Helpline – 03444 775774
Samaritans – 116 123 (free, 24/7)
Student Minds – 0808 808 4994
Beat Eating Disorders – 0808 801 0677

Whatever your circumstances, there is no shame in seeking mental health support.

At Matthew Douglas, we recognise the importance that good mental health has on our team members, and strive to do everything we can to support our employees and offer resources to those who may require additional help.

If you’d like to get involved with World Mental Health Day, here’s some great ideas to get started: ​​https://www.mind.org.uk/get-involved/world-mental-health-day/