Money and Mental Health

January is National Poverty Awareness in America month, which seems like a good time to talk about the impact that personal finances have on mental health. Money and mental health concerns often go hand in hand.

According to research, 42 percent of U.S. adults reported money concerns as having a negative impact on their mental health.1 For many, this comes in the form of stress.1 It can present as trouble sleeping, changes in eating habits, difficulty focusing, irritability, tiredness, low motivation, and increased time spent thinking about worries.

Further, among those who reported worrying about money, 57 percent said insufficient emergency savings was a top concern.1 Having money saved for unexpected emergencies is a form of security that can help lessen uncertainty and stress. Unfortunately, a large percent of U.S. adults, especially Millennials and Generation X, are unable to cover three months’ worth of expenses with their savings.2

If you are one of the many individuals struggling with financial stress, you may be wondering what you can do and how your mental health benefit may be able to help.

Meet with a counselor.
While your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) does not provide financial assistance or advice, it can help you with the emotional impact that financial stress has on your life. Your counselor can teach you stress management techniques that can support you in managing stress and help you focus your energy on addressing your financial challenges. Your counselor may also be able to help you find community resources or other support.

Meet with a financial advisor / planner.
A qualified financial advisor can help you understand your financial options and create a plan to meet your financial goals. There may be free or low-cost financial assistance programs available to you depending on your location and situation.

Learn more about financial wellness.
There are a number of self-guided resources you can access to learn more about money management. Your local library is a great option for free books and magazines on the topic. Also, look for reputable online content such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ( or the University of Wisconsin Financial Education ( websites.

Practice self-care.
During times of increased stress, self-care is especially important. Eat healthy, drink water, exercise, and take time to do relaxing activities for yourself. You will be better able to manage your finances when you are in a healthier frame of mind.

Sources: (1) Sandberg, E. (2022, May 2). 42% of U.S. adults say that money negatively impacts their mental health. Bankrate. Retrieved from (2) Bennett, K. (2022, June 23). Survey: Majority of US households uneasy with level of emergency savings. Bankrate. Retrieved from

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