There is no denying that your financial situation impacts your mental health. For example, not having enough money or struggling to cope with debt could lead to stress, anxiety and, ultimately, worsened mental health. This link is something UK pension transfer company: True Potential Investor has explored in more detail in its Tackling The Savings Gap Consumer Savings and Debt Data Q3 2017 report.
Based on the report’s findings, a third of households in the UK worry about money every day. There is a clear gender split within these figures, with 38.7% of women worrying about their finances every day, compared to just over a quarter (25.8%) of men.
Interestingly, those who work full-time and have an additional side-line to generate cash worry most often about money. 45% of this group worry daily, even though on paper, we would assume that a double revenue stream would make this group more financially comfortable than some others.
As highlighted by the above figures, employment doesn’t always guarantee financial security. Recent media coverage has proven this, with reports of professionals falling victim to financial struggles despite their traditionally well-regarded careers.
NHS & nursing staff
Averaging at £500, more than 700 nurses and healthcare assistants received RCN Foundation hardship grants from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). The grants are given out to help full-time nursing staff cope with the costs of food, travel, rent and mortgage payments. In total, over a quarter of a million pounds was given out — even though just £56,000 was awarded a decade ago.
A further survey by the RCN found in November 2017 that more than 40% of nurses had actually lost sleep over their money troubles. 70% said they were more financially worse off now than they were five years ago, while almost a quarter had taken up another job to top-up their income.
Is the situation for teachers similar or different to what nurses are experiencing? A study by Leeds Beckett University reported on by The Independent has found that over the past year, the number of teachers applying for help from the UK’s main education support charity to pay for housing and transport increased by 40%.
There has been over a 10% reduction in teacher salaries over the past ten years, according to research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As financial struggles and money worries rise for many, could this be impacting the mental health of teachers? 54% of teachers reported poor mental health, while 81% said poor mental health negatively impacted the pupil-teacher relationship.
Symptomatic of the UK workforce?
Further studies suggest that it isn’t just nurses and teachers who are facing a mental health burden as a result of their financial concerns. A Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development survey found that the money worries of a quarter of employees have impacted their job performance. 30% of these employees were found to work in the public sector.
From increasing salaries to greater education around money management, Britain must prioritise financial support, awareness and education. Addressing the issue early could lead to benefits across the UK’s workforce.