Individuals who struggle with their mental health are likely to face difficulties with their work, careers, interpersonal relationships and decision-making in different aspects of their life including finances.
According to Mimansa Singh Tanwar, Clinical Psychologist - Head School Mental Health Program, Fortis National Mental Health Program, Fortis Healthcare, investors must seek advice from an excellent financial expert who can evaluate their goals, time frame, risk tolerance, returns required, and savings possible and make the right trade-offs to help with the right asset allocation.
In an interview with MintGenie, Tanwar saidthat it is important that as a society we work towards creating support systems for women that value their efforts, encourage them to explore opportunities and invest in self-care.
Q. Money problems have been known to cause emotional disorders. But how does mental health affect the way you deal with money?
Money and mental health are often closely linked. Prolonged financial instability, insecurity or loss can lead to emotional distress. Individuals who undergo financial stress due to the loss of a job or uncertainty due to lack of economic stability can experience anxiety, sadness or mental health-related problems. Researches have shown that financial well-being is a significant aspect of an individual’s mental wellness along with many other factors like a family environment, healthy lifestyle, work-life balance, good interpersonal relationships and support systems.
On the other hand, individuals who struggle with their mental health are likely to face difficulties with their work, careers, interpersonal relationships and decision-making in different aspects of their life including finances. Due to a lack of awareness, acceptance and timely intervention for mental health issues, individuals for a long time may face many challenges to sustain their work, thereby adding to financial strain.
Unhealthy financial choices and difficulty with work and employment opportunities are some of the consequences that an individual undertakes due to their poor mental health. Not only does it add to the feelings of shame, guilt and isolation for the individual, but it also affects the overall economic well-being and quality of life within the family.
In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that anxiety and depression, the two most common mental health conditions, cost the global economy US $ 1 trillion each year. Therefore, it is important to look at implementing support structures that provide financial aid for mental health conditions.
Q. What percentage of women patients come to you to seek solutions to their money-related stress?
It is difficult to ascertain the percentage, however, given the social factors, women tend to face many challenges that may impact their mental health. Lack of support, burden with responsibilities, and the tendency to neglect one’s health are some of the issues, financial dependency or stress being one of the many factors that can be the cause for psychological distress.
Solutions are based on the problems presented by them which can be multifold; interpersonal, self, work, financial or treating mental health-related symptoms. Goals for these solutions are set mutually to increase their well-being in every aspect of life. This in turn contributes to their self-confidence and growth to make choices and decisions that align with their values and purpose.
Q. Have you noticed any particular behavioural pattern that distinguishes working women from homemakers?
Behavioural patterns are defined by multiple variables which are an individual, family, support system, belief systems, education and social conditioning. It is the combination of these factors that shapes the ‘self’ of an individual, and any categorization would only reinforce the stereotype. Whether paid or unpaid, it is important that we work towards creating support systems for women that value their efforts, encourage them to explore opportunities, and invest in self-care.
Q. What outlook difference regarding money do you see between men and women?
How individuals approach financial matters depends upon various factors. Education, awareness, freedom to exercise choices, socio-economic background, and how have they been conditioned during their upbringing years plays a crucial role in the way men and women set their financial priorities and decisions.
Q. What is the most common advice you give to women regarding money matters?
Any decision that anyone takes requires the right information, knowledge, critical thinking, perspective and confidence to implement it. As a part of psychological well-being, while working with women, the aim is to address self-doubt, help them to express their concerns and exercise informed healthy choices when they face conflicts. This holds true even for money matters.