RedArc, the nurse-led support organisation, says employers, advisers and insurers need to appreciate the impact to all pillars of health and wellbeing when people are in financial difficulty, and all areas need to be supported.
As the cost of living continues to cause difficulty for people, it isn’t just their financial health that suffers, but their mental, physical and social health too, and they mustn’t be overlooked.
Christine Husbands commercial director, RedArc, says: ‘We have seen an increasing number of people struggle financially during the cost-of-living crisis, and without exception, other areas of their health and wellbeing are affected, not to mention the impact on those around them. Support for financial wellbeing must include wider support for it to be effective.”
Being in financial difficulty can negatively impact mental health, and similarly, having poor mental health can exacerbate financial problems1. Providing support for mental wellbeing, building resilience and confidence, and tackling anxiety and depression is core in helping people with their financial wellbeing too.
Giving people a safe space to talk to a trusted professional about their mental health can be a lifeline, they can provide support, arrange a course of counselling, CBT or other therapy, or signpost to GPs or specialist organisations.
Physical ailments can be exacerbated when people are under financial stress. Attention needs to be given to lifestyle, nutrition, exercise and sleep to help people be in a position to cope with their situation. Likewise, when people are in ill-health, they aren’t always able to continue working.
Professionals can provide advice and guidance on how to manage health conditions and seek specialist support if needed.
People in financial difficulty can struggle to maintain relationships which are so important to wellbeing. Professionals can support people to maintain relationships and signpost people to local organisations that can also help. And, when financial, physical and mental health are better managed, people often feel more able to socialise.
Support must be provided in a way that people feel able to access. This might be via apps, platforms, via insurance policies or embedded within employee benefits. However they’re made available, it’s imperative that people understand the support available.
Christine Husbands continued: “People often don’t want to talk to their employer, family or friends when they struggle financially, so it’s vital that insurers, advisers and employers communicate clearly and regularly any support that’s available, so people know about it and can access it confidentially when they need it.”