Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing and can affect anyone at any time. It can impact on the choices we make, how we feel or even how we cope with daily stresses. Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 runs from 13th – 19th May and is a great time to have a chat with a friend, family member or colleague, and to have a think about our own wellbeing too[1].

There are many causes of mental health problems, so to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to try to understand what the main cause of stress outside of the workplace is. Here are the results:

  • 41% of people said that financial problems (money troubles/worries, debt, mortgage/rent) were the main cause of their stress.
  • 25% voted relationships (difficult relationships, marriage/divorce) as their main cause of stress.
  • 16% said that their main stress was caused by body image.
  • 8% of participants voted illness or bereavement as their main cause of stress.

The results clearly show that of those who voted in our poll, financial problems were the main cause of stress for them, and this is no surprise. 58% of UK employees have been affected by financial worries in the last year[2] with 19% of people losing sleep about their finances[3]. So, to help you reduce your employees financial stress, we’ve put together these three tips.

1. Reduce the stigma – When feeling overwhelmed with financial problems, talking about them is the first small step to relieving some of the pressure. However, the stigma related to financial problems can cause people to keep things bottled up, especially at work. Creating an environment where employees feel financial issues are common and they are not alone can encourage your staff to talk more openly. Feeling like you can have that initial conversation, albeit at work or at home, can often  make a situation feel more manageable.

2. Introduce a financial wellbeing programme – Providing a financial wellbeing programme can give employees the education and guidance they need to take control of their financial health. Giving them free support and tools to help them budget, save, invest or control their debt may significantly reduce their stress and help to improve their overall mental health.

3. Encourage starting an emergency fund – An emergency fund is an amount of money set aside for if an unexpected financial emergency arises. Building an emergency fund might be challenging to begin with, but being able to use this money when faced with unexpected circumstances can significantly reduce financial stress. Just having this money in the bank can go some way to help employees feel more financially prepared.  You can help your employees by raising awareness and  communicating the importance of having a fund like this.

Empowering your employees with the attitude, tools and resources they need to become financially healthy will not only benefit them, but your business as well. You will find that employees’ morale around the office will improve, resulting better productivity.

Secondsight offer a variety of events which focus on areas of wellbeing including mental and financial wellbeing. Sign up for any of these here.

 

1. https://www.mind.org.uk/get-involved/mental-health-awareness-week-2019/
2. The DNA of Financial Wellbeing” report, Neyber
3. https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/financial-well-being-employee-view-report_tcm18-17439.pdf

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