Your finances and mental wellbeing
We explain how to recognise the signs of problems with mental health, how to keep on top of your finances, and where you can go for help.
What is ‘mental health’ and why is it important?
Just as with physical health, everyone has ‘mental health.’ And just like physical health, how mentally healthy we are influences how we think and feel about ourselves and others, and how we understand everything around us. It affects how well we manage the day-to-day activities in our lives, including making decisions about finances and managing our money.
Problems in mental health can be caused by lots of things, and can affect anyone. People with other disabilities or lasting health conditions may also have problems with their mental health because of the stress this can cause.
Concerns about money can also be cause. The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute says that 24% of adults with mental health issues also have a problem with debt. This can then be particularly hard, as owing money can worsen already poor mental health.
Signs your mental health could be suffering
Many of us have mental health problems. How many could be surprising. And the way people think and talk about mental health is getting better. One of the reasons for this is how many people it affects. One in four British adults could have a mental health problem.
Some of us are already aware of our mental health problems, but issues can sometimes start without us noticing. Here are some ways to tell that your mental health could be suffering. It’s important to be able to notice them, and don’t ignore them if they start happening.
Do you have regular, unexplained feelings of anger or changes to how you eat or sleep?
Do you feel extremes of highs and lows?
Have you started finding it harder to cope with day-to-day problems and activities, or get easily confused?
Do you feel like avoiding social situations?
Do you feel anxious about reading your bank statements or bills?
Do you always worry about talking to banks or electricity or gas companies?
For more signs, the NHS website has a quiz that uses questions GPs ask to find out if someone is feeling anxious or depressed.
Where can I go for help?
If you’re worried about your mental health, you can see your family doctor or GP about it. They should be able to give you advice about treatment, and may refer you to another local professional who may be able to help. There are also companies that have volunteers who can offer advice or listen to you.
Should I tell my bank?
You may not want to tell us, or whoever you bank with, about any mental health problems and, of course, that’s totally fine. We’re not here to give medical advice and won’t try to do so.
If you do choose to tell us, we can work with you to see what we can do to help you. We could change how we contact you and how often, show you where to get help and advice, or just make some changes to make you feel comfortable when talking to us.
We’ll always let you know what we will do with any information you give us about your health. We will only use it to help you. Of course, we’ll keep anything you say to us confidential.
How we can help
- Using our app1, you can set up controls around how you use your debit card, including setting your own limit for how much you can take out of a cash machine, turning online shopping or card use on and off as you please, and requesting regular balance updates by text message
- Our money worries pages have information, phone numbers, things you can do and links to other websites to help you with debt
- If you have a smartphone or tablet, you can also use our app to check your accounts when it suits you – even if that’s the middle of the night. Its live chat service means that you can contact us whenever you want to without having to speak to us face to face or on the phone
- If you use online banking, you can message us safely from there as well, once you’ve logged in
- If you’d like to talk to us in a branch, we can arrange a longer appointment time for you. You don't need to say why, just let us know when you call or visit to book your appointment
- You can also ask for your branch appointment to be in a private room, and a family member or friend can come too, or a support worker if you have one
- You can take as much time as you want to make a decision about anything we talk to you about. This means you can take any paperwork away to read first
Mental health problems often only last a short amount of time. They can also go away and then come back. You may choose to have someone else manage your accounts during these times, while still doing it yourself when you feel in a position to.
1. You must be 16 or over and have a Barclays current account to use Barclays Mobile Banking. Terms and conditions apply.