24 August 2022
- The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), in collaboration with Beyond Blue, commissioned research to examine the relationship between financial wellbeing and mental health.
- People experiencing financial challenges are at least twice as likely to encounter mental health issues than those who aren’t, and vice versa.
- ASIC continues to connect consumers to services that operate with an understanding of the strong links between money and mental health.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), in collaboration with Beyond Blue, commissioned research to examine the relationship between financial wellbeing and mental health.
The Money and Mental Health Social Research Report confirms previously anecdotal evidence that people face a range of mental health impacts including stress, diagnosable mental health conditions and suicidal thoughts when experiencing financial challenges.
At the heart of the research, it was found that there is substantial evidence that financial wellbeing and mental health are connected:
- Around 5% of Australian adults experience both financial hardship and mental health symptoms each year, with 14% having experienced these over the most recent five years of HILDA survey data.
- People experiencing financial challenges are twice as likely as those who are not to also be experiencing mental health challenges. Common indicators showing this are: debt, economic and material disadvantage, financial hardship, long-term unemployment and receiving income support.
- The reverse is also true - people experiencing mental health challenges are twice as likely as those who are not to be experiencing financial challenges such as: Major worsening of finances in the last year, unpaid bills, lack of emergency funds, socio-economic disadvantage, material deprivation and poorer perceived financial prosperity.
- Financial challenges can cause a decline in mental health, and mental health challenges (including navigating the costs related to managing mental illness) can cause a decline in financial wellbeing. These negative impacts can accumulate over time, and can be reciprocally reinforcing, leading to downward spirals and entrenched issues.
- A positive relationship also exists, supporting resilience and recovery – improvements in financial wellbeing can improve mental health, and improvements in mental health can improve financial wellbeing.
ASIC’s Moneysmart website provides information and resources for people who are in crisis or struggling to make ends meet.
Access the Money and Mental Health Social Research Report conducted by Heartward Strategic below:
- Money and Mental Health Social Research Report - Executive summary
- Money and Mental Health Social Research Report - Full report.
- National Debt Helpline | ndh.org.au
- NewAccess: Mental health coaching | Beyond Blue
- Managing debt | Moneysmart.gov.au
- Financial hardship | Moneysmart.gov.au
ASIC is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator.