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Enhancing Immigrant Resilience: Effective Strategies for Achieving Financial and Mental Well-being

Last week the Mental Health Foundation hosted "Mental Health Awareness Week" a critical campaign to tackle stigma and help people understand and prioritise their and others' mental health.  

This year, their campaign encouraged people to incorporate movement into their daily routines while also recognising their challenges.  

Incorporate movement into their daily routines

Even though we all understand how important exercise is for mental health, many of us still struggle to get enough movement in our daily lives.  

When you are not native to a country, the challenges of settling in and finding a good rhythm and strategy to manage your well-being can have added complexities.  

Every action helps, whether going for a walk in your area, listening to your favourite music, dancing in your living room, or performing chair exercises while watching TV. It is essential to keep in mind that movement elicits feelings. Trying to run about or dance when feeling down is more challenging than it sounds!  

Money worries can be an underlying cause of many people's mental health struggles and in my work, I try to help people to understand the correlation between the two. 

Understanding the correlation between mental health and debt 

Personal finance and mental health have a worrisome connection in the complicated field of mental health. Anecdotal evidence frequently suggests a high correlation between bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder (BPD) and significant risky expenditure. 


Furthermore, a lot of addictions, especially gambling, may involve considerable financial hazards. 

A group of people gambling and affecting their mental health and financial behaviour


This correlation between mental health and financial behaviour poses a considerable challenge, as it perpetuates a vicious cycle that can have profound repercussions on individuals and society. 


The relationship between debt and poor mental health is multifaceted and deeply intertwined. Firstly, episodes of poor mental health, encompassing depression and psychosis, can be exacerbated by the stress of unmanageable debt. The burden of financial obligations can weigh heavily on individuals, intensifying feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, and despair. Moreover, the strain of debt can lead to a cascade of negative consequences, including loss of income or employment, further exacerbating mental health issues. 

Prepare for everything, and don't take anything for granted.

Financial hardship and a decline in mental health can occur at the same time when external shocks like losing one's job or a family member developing a health issue occur. A perfect storm is created by these converging events, increasing stress and reducing coping skills. Under such conditions, people could feel overburdened and unable to properly manage their mental health or the intricacies of their financial status. 


Compounding the issue, mental health problems can impair individuals' ability to attend to their finances responsibly. Whether due to cognitive impairments, emotional dysregulation, or a lack of insight into their financial situation, individuals may neglect bills, overspend, or make impulsive financial decisions, further entrenching themselves in debt. 


To tackle this intricate problem, a comprehensive approach that acknowledges the link between financial stability and mental health is required. Priority should be given to developing a better awareness of mental health issues and de-stigmatising them so that individuals can seek treatment without fear of bias or judgment. To treat their mental health concerns, patients must have prompt access to affordable mental health care options. Martin Lewis's Mental Health & Debt Charity is doing a lot to help financial organisations understand the problem of the correlation between debt and mental health - look at the great work he is doing HERE 


Where I come in at MoneyMatiX is that financial literacy and education and education also play a crucial role in mitigating the impact of reckless spending and debt on mental health. Empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills to manage their finances responsibly can help prevent the onset of financial crises and alleviate stressors that exacerbate mental health issues. Additionally, providing support and resources for individuals grappling with both mental health and economic challenges is essential. This may involve access to financial counselling, debt management programs, or peer support groups that offer practical guidance and emotional encouragement. Transform your financial future by signing up for my 'Grow Your Money Challenge'. It will help you sort out your finances. Check it out HERE 


Moreover, systemic measures are required to establish conditions promoting financial stability and mental well-being. This includes measures to lessen economic disparity, increase the availability of affordable housing, and broaden social safety nets to protect people from the financial consequences of unforeseen life occurrences. 

Ultimately, it will take a concerted effort by the social services, healthcare, and financial sectors to break the cycle of debt, reckless spending, and poor mental health. By addressing the underlying causes of these interconnected problems and offering comprehensive support to those impacted, we may strive towards a future where people can prosper financially and mentally. This handy article from "MindHealth 360' will help you get to the root cause of your mental health issues - it is worth a read. Check it out HERE.  


We have compiled a list of effective coping strategies to help you manage and mitigate the impacts of financial stress on your mental health. They are designed to help you handle financial pressures and enhance your overall mental resilience. Implementing these techniques can make a significant difference in maintaining your well-being during challenging times. 


Acknowledge Your Feelings: 

Realising and accepting your emotions is the first step in treating mental health issues. It's normal to feel stressed, anxious, or even depressed while dealing with financial worries in an unfamiliar setting. Allow yourself to experience these feelings without self-criticism or judgment. Never forget that asking for help shows strength, not weakness and that your feelings are real. 


Cultivate Self-Compassion: 

You can cultivate self-compassion by being kind and understanding to yourself when things are tough. Understand that acclimating to a new language, culture, and socioeconomic environment is a journey with ups and downs. Treat yourself with kindness, acknowledge your little accomplishments, and show yourself the compassion you would offer a friend in a comparable situation. 

You can cultivate self-compassion


Seek Social Support: 

Having a robust support system is essential to preserving mental health. Connect with individuals from your cultural community, friends, relatives, or other immigrants who share your experiences. Talking to people who have been through similar experiences and sharing your worries with them can offer support, consolation, and helpful guidance. Another good organisation to turn to for help is Barnardos.  


Access Mental Health Resources: 

Numerous originations provide resources and services for mental health that are specially intended for immigrants and refugees.  The UK Government have prepared a very useful mental health guide for migrants, which you can read HERE.  


These could include support groups, counselling, therapy, and hotlines manned by bilingual experts aware of the difficulties experienced by newcomers. Utilise these resources to address underlying mental health concerns, build resilience, and investigate coping mechanisms. The Mental Health Foundation is an excellent organisation to turn to for help. Get help HERE. 

Access Mental Health Resources


Practice Mindfulness and Stress Reduction Techniques: 

Make mindfulness and stress-reduction practises a part of your everyday life to help you control your anxiety and foster emotional health. In the face of uncertainty outside, simple techniques like deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and time in nature can help you de-stress, find inner peace, and manage your stress. You can apply this helpful article's five easy mindfulness exercises to your everyday life. You can read it HERE. 

Focus on What You Can Control: 


Even if financial concerns seem overwhelming, concentrate on developing doable actions to improve. Make a budget, investigate ways to earn extra money, and investigate local programmes offering newcomers financial aid. No matter how modest the action, being proactive can help you feel more in control of your situation. This is a helpful Citizens Advice article that gives you a solid overview of budgeting. You can read it HERE


Celebrate Cultural Identity: 

When faced with hardship, holding onto your cultural identity can give you a sense of resilience, strength, and community. Enjoy your heritage cuisine, music, customs, and festivities with other immigrants and members of your cultural community. Embracing your cultural identity can foster a sense of pride, camaraderie, and fortitude in the face of adversity. My new book 'Thriving Beyond Borders' celebrates my culture and tells the story of 10 people of colour (POC) who moved to the UK. You can learn more and obtain a copy of my book HERE. 


Practice Mindfulness and Stress Reduction Techniques: 

Likewise, MIND has produced a beneficial Guide to explain mindfulness.  

Mindfulness is a technique for noticing what's happening in the present moment without judgment. You might see and be aware of your mind, body, or surroundings. 

I have found this technique useful. It has helped me understand and incorporate it into my daily life.  


You can read MIND'S article about 'Mindfulness' HERE.  


My Useful signposting 


Other helpful resources you might want to check out include: - 

Citizens Advice: They provide helpful, practical advice on financial management and consumer rights in the UK, which can benefit immigrants adjusting to new financial systems. 


National Health Service (NHS) – Mental Health Services: THE NHS pages offer mental health support services, which can be crucial for immigrants experiencing stress due to financial issues. 


The Money Charity: The Money Charity will connect you to resources that explain the basics of managing your money in the UK, tailored to help newcomers understand financial planning and budgeting. 


Budgeting tools and calculators 


There are many tools to help you with your budgeting and money planning. The more you can do this, the better. This will allow you to manage your money issues and will ultimately help your mental health.  


The Mental Health & Money Advice service provides excellent interactive tools and templates for managing money, including a 'Savings Calculator', a 'Budget Planner', and a 'Debt Health Check'. FIND THE TOOLS HERE:  


This is a handy budgeting Guide on the Mental Health & Money Advice website; check it out HERE:  


My final thought 


Navigating financial worries as an immigrant can be overwhelming, but it's essential to prioritise your mental health and well-being amidst the turmoil. You can cultivate resilience and thrive in your new environment by acknowledging your feelings, seeking social support, accessing mental health resources, and practising self-compassion. Remember, you are not alone; help is available to support you on your journey towards mental wellness. You can overcome challenges and build a fulfilling life in your new home with patience, perseverance, and self-care. 


If you're facing financial or any other challenges, please don't hesitate to seek support. Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved.  


Reach out for assistance instead of trying to handle it alone.  


For more information and resources, visit The Mental Health Foundation.  


You can listen to my special podcast 'Musical Gambia: The Immigrants Financial Journey' I recorded, which clearly illustrates immigrants' mental health and debt challenges - HERE. 

Let's work together to shape a generation prepared for financial success. 

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