Does The Financial Wellbeing Of Your Business Mirror The Mental Health Of Your Team?

London Cityscape At Sunset

On Monday I had the privilege of being asked to lead a session on mental health in the workplace for the TruMunity Unconference in London, a recruitment event for HR leaders and recruitment professionals with informality and learning at its heart.

When thinking about what to talk about, I kept coming back to the role business has to play in tackling the mental health crisis the UK faces.

A study into wellbeing in the workplace recently estimated that around 97 million work days are lost each year in the UK to mental health issues.

Imagine the impact of that figure for a moment. It equates to more than a quarter of a million years. And if you’re having trouble processing that, it’s around 50,000 years longer than we’ve been on the earth.

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Is Your Mental Health In The Red?

Cutting credit card with no balance

Over the years I have treated a great many people struggling with a variety of psychological issues. Some of the issues I treat are straightforward, some less so. But more often than not the root cause of the problems my clients face is one of the unholy trinity: love, money and work.

Years ago, as society began to understand the DNA of mental health, it was a commonly-held belief that debt caused depression. To an extent, that’s still the case. But there’s increasing evidence to show that the opposite is also true and that a significant life event like the loss of a job, chronic and debilitating poor health or the disintegration of a relationship can often be debt’s smoking gun.

But whether debt is the chicken or the egg in the evolution of poor mental health, the truth is that the impact of even mild financial stress on your wellbeing can be the start of a vicious circle that leads, by increments, into emotional paralysis.

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Curse Or Addiction?

Dollar Sign Disolve

“But the root of all these evils is the love of money, and there are some who have desired it and have erred from the faith and have brought themselves many miseries.” – First epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy

I find that quote from the New Testament intriguing; not because it is a religious text – each to their own on that score – but because it seems to me to be a metaphor for the power that material wealth can have on our emotional wellbeing.

The words the faith, for example, could easily be interpreted as a sense of morality or of right and wrong. And the notion that the desire for, and acquisition of, wealth can bring misery seems to me to have more than a ring of truth about it. 

Quite simply, being rich beyond imagination doesn’t buy you happiness – just ask Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and his wife Dasha Zhukova who this week announced their separation after ten years of marriage. If £7bn can’t buy you contentment then it’s probably safe to say no amount of money can. 

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What’s Your Subconscious Credit Rating?

What's Your Subconscious Credit Rating?

Your relationship with money is one of the oldest relationships you will have in your lifetime, so it stands to good reason that your money beliefs may well be outdated.  In essence, many of our beliefs about money were formed in childhood before we even had any!

This is no problem if we were born into a household with a healthy relationship to money, but adult life can become a financial snake pit if you weren’t!

Many of our beliefs around money are inherited from our parents, or those in our immediate sphere during childhood. Our conscious, rational mind doesn’t develop until around the age of 9, up until this point our subconscious is in control. This means we are highly impressionable to all around us and we often take what is told to us and absorb it as the ‘truth’.

Consciously we all want to have a good relationship with money – as anything but that will often create a struggle – however what we are creating on a subconscious level in our lives can be a different experience on a day-to-day basis.

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Be Great Friends With Money

Be Great Friends With Money

Abundance is a big issue for many people and being friends money is important if we want to live a comfortable life. Money itself is neutral – sounds obvious but how many times do you get angry and frustrated money? the thoughts and beliefs we have about it that cause the problems, so much of the time we put ‘our stuff’ on money and then blame money for it. If you don’t feel subconsciously that you deserve it, you can end up throwing it away through overspending, or underearning through not charging enough for your services or by not valuing your time by continually giving it away for free. If you were brought up with toxic beliefs around money (such as ‘money is the root of all evil’) you may find this is especially true for you. One of the easiest ways to find out what your subconscious beliefs about money are is to take a look at your bank balance and general credit and debit situation, what’s going on subconsciously is all too often reflected in your external life.

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Additional Credits

Video by Weeks360.

Photography by Liz Bishop Photography.

Production by Mark Norman at Little Joe Media and Joanne Brooks.

Hair by Jonny Albutt.

Make up by Olly Fisk and Nabeel Hussain.