This fact sheet addresses financial wellness and is part of PRA Well-Being’s eight-part Tips for Providers series. The Tips for Providers series highlights how providers can enhance the wellness of individuals with mental health conditions through each of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness. Each fact sheet examines strategies to enhance that dimension of wellness, provides an overview of how each dimension of wellness relates to the other dimensions, and highlights how each dimension of wellness relates to mental health.

This fact sheet defines financial wellness as having both the financial resources to meet practical needs and the knowledge of how manage those financial resources. There are special considerations regarding financial wellness for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI), as individuals with SMI often face higher healthcare expenses than others or may avoid seeking treatment for financial reasons. A 2016 report found that the cost of care prevented almost half of adults from receive mental health services in 2014, making it the greatest present barrier to treatment.

Achieving financial wellness is possible, even for people with limited resources or income with which to work. Providers can promote financial wellness among their clients by connecting them with supported employment and financial literacy programs to help them establish income and develop a budget. Supported employment programs trains individuals for employment and connects them with potential workplaces that accommodate individuals with behavioral health conditions. In addition to helping support recovery in practical ways, having an income and occupation also supports overall well-being by helping individuals develop or strengthen a sense of purpose and meaning (see our Occupational Wellness Fact Sheet for more information).

Programs like the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services’ “WE Can Work” and “WE Can Save” campaigns provide guidance and support toward achieving meaningful employment and financial wellness. These tools are available for free online access by providers and community organizations. Another potential source of financial support is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which can provide key assistance eligible individuals.

View the other fact sheets in this series:

This resource was first shared in 2019.