Every month, Telus Health puts out a mental health index report, and the February numbers show that the cost-of-living crisis is having a huge, and terrible, effect on many people’s mental wellness.

The Abbotsford News has some interesting analysis on the numbers, but it was this quote that resonated with me:

[UBC psychology professor Jiaying Zhao] studies the connection between scarcity – whether that’s of money, food or time – and mental well-being, and says there are very clear connections between poverty or financial stress and depression and anxiety.

“Poverty taxes the brain. It puts a huge mental burden on people.”

That burden eats up bandwidth and makes it more difficult for people to perform in school or at work, Zhao says. Short-term, it’s exhausting and stressful. Long-term, it can lead to mental illness.

ICBA Wellness dedicates a full month of our programming to fiscal fitness, offering tips, ideas and solutions to manage the mental wear and tear of dealing with money.

As cost-of-living continues to go up, this will need to be a bigger focus for all of us.

Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 90 companies and nearly 10,000 construction professionals better understand mental health. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.