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May 2023

Financial and mental wellness: Breaking the vicious circle

Did you know, 58 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck?1 It’s pretty stressful. Any unexpected expense or raise in price can blow your budget all out of whack. Worrying about how you’ll pay your mortgage next month because you need to pay for an unexpected car repair can send you into an anxiety tailspin.

It makes sense, right? Financial wellness and mental wellness are not just connected but interconnected. It can be a vicious circle; people are worried about their finances, negatively affecting their overall mental well-being. But when they’re worried or anxious about their financial situation, they can’t concentrate on work and may lose motivation or miss a few days of work. Not showing up, physically or mentally, then affects their financial situation, returning them to where they started.

Do you realize, you're uniquely positioned to help stop the circle from turning?

As an employer, you care about your employees – so how can you help?

Maybe you’re in the 78 percent of organizations offering mental wellness resources as part of your overall benefits package now or in the next year.2 That’s wonderful news, but we learned in a proprietary study of over 2,500 full-time employees only one-third of employees with an Employee Assistance Program or counseling services available have ever used them.2

It’s great that you’re providing important resources, but what will it take to help them feel comfortable using them? Here is what survey respondents told us they want2:

  • Ease of use – they want it to be simple to sign up and use
  • Confidentiality – even though your programs probably are confidential, employees are skeptical and fearful – employers need to reinforce confidentiality continually
  • Positive communication – most won’t seek care until they’re truly struggling; employers should encourage people to be proactive with their mental well-being
You also care about those you serve

Last year, we conducted a proprietary survey and respondents told us that when there is an emphasis placed on building trusting relationships and providing high-quality customer services, it keeps them loyal.3

Here's how they feel you can help:

  • Offer more financial education, resources and classes
  • Increase direct, personalized outreach regarding financial health
  • Start a conversation at each visit

Not all mental health issues are financial but you can help support your employees and those you serve by providing the resources they might need to help them get through the issues they may be facing. 

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1. Dickler, Jessica. “With inflation stubbornly high, 58% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck: CNBC survey.”, April 2023.

2. Optimizing Employer Mental Wellness Benefits: Exploring key barriers to utilization study, September 2022.

3. Securian Financial Credit Union Customer Survey, June 2022. 

DOFU 5-2023