LINKING MENTAL HEALTH AND FINANCIAL LITERACY
The link between financial stability and mental health is strong. This May, we recognize financial fitness as a contributor to mental health.
The month of May is dedicated to Mental Health Awareness month. The World Health Organization(WHO) reports the world's mental health situation ranked Kenya 5th among African countries with the highest number of depression cases.
Mental Health as per the World Health Organization is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.
Conversations around Mental Health in Kenya are slowly getting embraced. It is safe to say then that a good number of people have experienced some type of disorder or know someone who has suffered the same. Contributions to mental health are, but not limited to; discrimination, childhood neglect, or death.
Renown wealth coach, Steve Down argues that financial health is a key aspect to mental health and stability and that it needs to be given the attention it deserves.
According to a survey conducted by Financially Fit Africa, 45% of the adult population struggling financially often abuse alcohol and other drugs. Alcohol as a depressant, slows down the brain and interferes with brain chemicals that maintain our mental state. This makes it harder for them to deal with depression and anxiety and make stress harder to deal with. And while drinking their woes may seem as a way to forget, the kickback effect is the addiction to it.
Millennials too face mental distress from financial problems. in an APA report Gen Z (born between 1997–2012) respondents reported experiencing psychological symptoms due to stress. Causes of stress were identified as money/work (64%) and debt(33%). Quite a number of young adults begin to move out from home at around age 22–24. Many become exposed to the effects of inflation and economic hardship through household expenses such as bills. This easily results to anxiety, depression or stress because of what they have to do to earn income, maintain their living conditions or simply pay bills.
In times of financial restrain and heightened unemployment, finding the motivation to effectively handle financial situations can be tricky for anyone moreso for those living with mental health challenges.
Steve Down, author of Financially Fit for Life understands and shares how you can start the journey of financial health and wealth. He believes that financial stability largely contributes to our mental wellbeing.
Visit FINANCIALLY FIT AFRICA to learn how you can be actively involved in your mental and financial health.