Mental well-being and financial wellness go hand-in-hand

A stomach in knots. Foggy thinking. Tossing and turning at night. Sound familiar? Over the past few years, most people have experienced feelings of financial stress from economic uncertainty, inflation, and global unrest.

The connection between financial stability and mental well-being is real. In fact, financial pressures can affect more than the bottom line, they can also wreak havoc on mental health. That is why it is so important to support your employees and members because they can’t just have financial health they also need mental health.

Can finances affect mental health?

The impact of financial stress can take a toll, and the weight of financial burden can manifest in unexpected ways. When members and employees suffer from financial stress, they might find themselves:

  • Thinking about their finances for most of the day
  • Feeling low-grade anxiety that doesn’t seem to go away
  • Feeling fatigued and exhausted, even after a full night’s rest
  • Starting to avoid events and social functions
  • Easily irritated, frustrated, or snappy
  • Mentally heavy, as though you’re moving through a fog
  • Feeling depressed, flat, emotionless, or sad a lot of the time

Financial stress can happen to anyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. The mental impact of financial burden could lead to workplace challenges for employees and could cause members to have difficulties maintaining their accounts.

How can you improve both finances and mental health?

Learning how to take control over finances, and feeling supported and validated along the way, can be transformative. Call it financial self-care. This level of support tells your employees and members you value their well-being. Not only is it good for the credit union space, but also for the employees of credit unions. It sets them up for success by providing the resources and tools necessary to improve their financial wellness.

When it comes to understanding and supporting members, it’s important to expand beyond the financial realm and consider well-being from a holistic perspective. Let’s take a look at what a positive financial wellness plan might look like:

Situational support

Money issues can feel embarrassing, and often cause people to isolate. However, when your members face financial challenges, they don’t have to go it alone. By connecting them with people who have been in similar situations, you can lighten their load and help them learn strategies and insights to help them overcome financial burden. This type of peer support can be both empowering and life-changing.

Not sure how to connect your members and employees with peer support? Try out a service that connects members with people who understand what they are going through. Whether they need a listening ear, validation, or experienced insights on how they regained control and rediscovered what financial peace of mind feels like, peer support is priceless. Your employees and members can even speak directly with someone from the same cultural and demographic background, so they know they are getting support from someone who truly understands your situation.

Money management

Getting real with finances creates accountability, and with accountability comes the ability to improve and change the situation. On the flip side, hiding from finances, or overlooking the key factors involved, never gives someone the whole picture. To really support financial wellness in the credit union space, it’s important to provide resources that allow members to take a full inventory of their entire financial situation. This means writing down and analyzing exactly what’s happening within all accounts, and taking a hard look at every income stream and expenditure.

Whether your members are experiencing financial burden related to a business venture or personal debt reduction, the name of the game is full disclosure. When it comes to past due bills, out of sight does not mean out of mind, and the stress of mounting debt still affects their mental health. Remember, financial wellness is a mindset, and with accountability, it can be adjusted and fine tuned for success.

Employee and member resources

Locating the right resources can make all the difference when overcoming financial challenges. Understanding the full financial picture is one thing, knowing where to find guidance is another. With reputable and experienced resources, you can provide your employees and members with a little help along the way.

This is where utilizing a peer-to-peer support service comes in. Members and employees will have access to a curated list of national and organizational resources to help them stay on track and improve their situations.

Financial stress might be universal, but suffering in silence doesn’t have to be. Giving your members and employees the support and resources they need for success can make all the difference.

In a nutshell

  • Financial wellness affects mental well-being.
  • Offer situational support from peers at Kindly Human.
  • Help members take a hard look at all aspects of their finances.
  • Provide employees and members resources to keep them on track.
Tom Kazar

Tom Kazar

Tom Kazar is Financial Services Professional with over 25 years of experience in the field of member benefits. Having spent his credit union career covering the U.S. and Canada, ... Web: Details