World Mental Health Day: How to address the link between employee mental health and financial wellbeing

Posted by LearnLux on 10/8/21 1:27 PM

World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10th each year to raise global awareness of mental health matters to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.

At LearnLux, we are deeply passionate about the relationship between mental health and financial stress. 

This link often presents itself as a vicious cycle:
  • Financial stress adversely impacts mental health
  • Poor mental health makes managing money a challenge
  • These difficulties result in worsening mental health and money problems, and so on
 
financial wellbeing and mental health spiral
 

The mental stress and money spiral can manifest in many different ways.

For many employees it’s a common stress cycle of having a bad day, treating yourself with a purchase, feeling guilty about spending, and repeat.

For others, the runaway train can quickly pick up steam, with low moods leading to depression and debt compounding into bankruptcy. 

Woman in a red shirt stressed about her financial wellbeing

In The Mental Stress of Money ebook, join us for a deep dive into the connection between financial health and overall wellbeing.

You’ll learn more about the effects of the money and stress spiral, then leave with actionable solutions and a clear path forward.

 

Get the Mental Stress of Money eBook

 

Top workplaces are taking action

Although leading workplaces have embraced mental health and financial benefits wellbeing, it’s time for their strategies to be more closely considered.

Employers are uniquely positioned to help their team manage the mental health and money stress spiral. Never before have we been so connected to our teams through the use of digital benefits, remote communication tools, and elevated importance of empathy in the workplace.

Employees putting together puzzle pieces representing mental and financial health

When you’re ready to take action, here are 5 ways to help employees break the stress spiral so their work & wellbeing can thrive:

 

Conduct a "mental stress of money" assessment

Often the best way to understand the challenges employees are experiencing around mental health and money is simply to ask them. But, be tactful. Avoid outright asking during a check-in, or sending a sketchy-looking DIY survey around.

Take time to conduct a "Mental stress of money" assessment within your company. Since employees are often uncomfortable sharing details about their finances and mental health with their employer, consider having this data collected by an independent party.

An assessment can also audit the effectiveness of programs you might already have in place:

  • Is your existing healthcare coverage enough?
  • Do employees feel comfortable calling up their EAP?
  • Where do employees feel there are gaps in their benefits?

All of this information can be insightful as you explore financial wellbeing and mental health programs.

 

Smash the workplace stigma around mental health and money

When it comes to emotions, it can often be difficult to put words to how we feel. When it comes to money, the financial system speaks another language entirely. And, talking about mental health and money is still taboo in many spaces. This leaves many employees unable to access the information and resources they need to better their situation.

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Thankfully, the tides are shifting. Employers understand that when they provide an individual with a paycheck, benefits, and retirement tools, they are taking an active role in their personal finances already. And, mental health benefits have quickly become table stakes for job seekers and current employees alike.

Smashing the workplace stigma around mental health and money is no easy task. Start from the top-down, encouraging leadership to be brave by being vulnerable. Normalize mental health days, offer financial experts for key decision points around tax season and open enrollment, and let employees know their wellbeing is a priority

 

Download the eBook

 

Offer access to mental health benefits

Employers and HR leaders have all seen the impacts of the pandemic on employee mental wellbeing. Fortunately, with new advancements in behavior health technologies, there are more ways than ever to address employee mental health.

Look for programs that take an individual approach to employee healthcare. Mental healthcare benefits are a vital part of employee well-being. The good news is that the changes American employees would like to see to their mental healthcare benefits are well within the scope of organizations and their healthcare providers.

 

Provide a holistic financial wellbeing program

Employees are your organization’s most valuable asset. Are you doing enough to support their total wellbeing? When a team member's mind is distracted by financial stress, their productivity, engagement, and mental health can suffer.

Instead of settling for "check-the-box" financial wellbeing (such as blog posts from 401k provider, or call centers through your EAP) consider a modern program like LearnLux that will drive real results for your workforce.

Programs that blend interactive digital tools with access to unbiased Certified Financial Planner™ professionals are the gold standard. Every workforce has different needs, so look for a holistic program that can reach a dispersed, diverse population with 24/7 access. If you’re interested in learning more about how LearnLux can support your specific workforce, book a discovery call here.

 

Get the Mental Stress of Money eBook

 

Create mental & financial wellbeing Employee Resource Groups

If you haven’t yet leveraged the incredible power of Employee Resource Groups (aka, ERGs), this action item is for you. ERGs are created to encourage community among employees with shared experiences or identities.

When done strategically, ERGs can supercharge diversity and inclusion efforts, and support employees who are managing their mental health and/or financial struggles. By uniting employees under a mental or financial wellbeing ERG theme, you can foster social connection and peer support which is essential for dispersed and remote workforces.

When possible, find an executive to sponsor the ERG and go through your company's established process to launch and promote the new group. You may be surprised at how fast employees jump at the opportunity to join their colleagues in open and honest conversation when given the platform to do so.

 

Key takeaways

To sum it all up, the status quo for millions of American employees is just not sustainable. The typical worker is mentally and financially stressed, living paycheck-to-paycheck with no emergency fund as the cost of care continues to rise.

This stress spiral is impacting individuals, families, and companies on a massive scale. In partnership with the world's top employers, LearnLux is on a mission to make mental and financial wellbeing a workplace a priority. We hope you’ll join us in creating a brighter future for all.

 

Explore additional mental and financial wellbeing resources

Download The mental stress of money eBook, a free resource for benefits professionals & consultants looking to supercharge their wellbeing strategy.

Mental stress x Money 3

In this eBook, you'll explore:

  • The mental stress & money spiral
  • Impacts of mental and financial stress
  • Actionable solutions, and more

Click below to download a free PDF copy of the eBook to take with you.

Get the Mental Stress of Money eBook

 

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