January 27, 2021

Mental well-being inherently connected to financial wellness

The link between mental health and financial health are more connected than some may realize. According to Forbes, stress resulting from financial challenges is often chronic. Purdue's Healthy Boiler Program offers several kinds of assistance for mental health and financial health.

Worries about finances came in as the No. 1 stressor in the latest CreditWise survey, released in December 2020. The results indicated that finances are the No. 1 cause of stress (73%) – being reported as a major cause of stress more often than politics (59%), work (49%) and family (46%). Financial stress was in the No.1 spot in 2019 as well as reflected in the 2019 Everyday Health United States of Stress survey.

High levels of financial stress, as with other stressors, can manifest itself through physical symptoms such as anxiety, headaches/migraines, compromised immune systems, digestive issues, high blood pressure, muscle tension, heart arrhythmia, depression and a feeling of being overwhelmed.

Individuals with high financial stress are twice as likely to report poor health overall and are four times more likely to complain of ailments, according to Forbes.

“Health issues then present increased medical expenses, which worsen already tight money situations,” says Amanda Hathcock, employee assistance counselor at the Center for Healthy Living (CHL). “It’s important for individuals to have support to help them process this cycle of overlapping stressors so they can hopefully slow the cycle and head in a new direction that leads to some relief.”    

Resources available to assist

As part of the Healthy Boiler Program, Purdue provides resources for not only behavioral health but also financial wellness to benefits-eligible employees and dependents covered on a Purdue health plan.

  • Employee assistance counselors at CHL are equipped to help individuals work through any mental health challenges, including those created by financial worries. Call 765-494-0111 to schedule.
  • Health coaches at CHL and Purdue Fort Wayne can help effectively motivate and encourage changes to help individuals set and meet goals with their finances and more. Call 765-494-0111 or 260-481-6651 to schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment.
  • Fidelity retirement planners are available to meeting one-on-one virtually to help answer retirement questions, plan for retirement income, develop a comprehensive investment strategy and more. To schedule a one-on-one appointment, call 800-642-7131 or schedule online.
  • The Fidelity NetBenefits website provides information specific to Purdue’s retirement benefits but also additional resources – articles, videos, workshops, infographics, podcasts, calculators and tools – to help employees with the health of their finances.
  • Health savings accounts (HSA), health reimbursement arrangements (HRA) and flexible spending accounts (FSA) – all administered by HSA Bank – allow individuals to use pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified health care expenses. More information on HSAs, HRAs and FSAs is available online. Additional HSA/HRA dollars can be earned each year through the Healthy Boiler wellness incentive.
  • Rx Savings Solutions – A free, confidential program that works in conjunction with Purdue’s prescription coverage to help individuals spend less money on prescriptions. All benefits-eligible employees and dependents covered on a Purdue health plan are already Rx Savings Solutions’ members; all that employees need to do now is activate their accounts, if they have not already done so. Rx Savings Solutions does the rest of the work.
  • MyMoney – This free service provided by the Division of Financial Aid can be used as a resource for those in the Purdue community who have financial literacy questions and are looking for helpful ways to handle financial situations faced in everyday life.
  • America Saves Week -- Coming up Feb. 22-27. Throughout the week, information will be shared to help individuals save automatically, for the unexpected, to retire, by reducing debt and as a family.

More information

To assist students

Faculty and staff who work with students or have a student at home can direct students to the resources below for behavioral health assistance. Note: LiveHealth Online Psychology and LiveHealth Online Psychiatry services are also available to Purdue students who are covered on a Purdue health plan. Mental health visits through LiveHealth Online are covered at 100 percent on the Purdue student health plan.   

Office of the Dean of Students

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Questions

Contact Human Resources at 765-494-2222 or via email at hr@purdue.edu.


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