The Financial Hazards of Neglecting Mental Health

As a business owner—or an aspiring business owner—finances can be tight, or can be a significant source of concern. For that reason, many business owners “tighten their purse strings,” or hold tight to money and avoid spending money on anything that might initially appear to be extraneous or unnecessary. While brewing coffee at home instead of going out to coffee every morning is a wise choice, there are some instances in which tightening the purse strings can actually be problematic. Buying quality items is one example, but failing to attend to mental health and productivity is another common issue found in small business owners or members of a startup.

Mental Health: A Closer Look

Mental health has a long history of being undervalued or ignored, even by health professionals who claim to have the health and well-being of their patients in mind. It is perhaps only within the past decade—and certainly within the past 20 years—that the true importance of thriving mental health has been acknowledged and understood. Indeed, many people do not even recognize their own symptoms as indicators of mental deterioration without the aid of questionnaires and other quizzes, such as those provided by Mind Diagnostics. So, what is it that is so important about mental health?

Although Western medicine has long suggested that the body is treated and healed in segments, increasing research suggests that is not actually the case. Mental health can have a powerful impact on general or overall health, and failing to acknowledge and target mental health means the failure to adequately assess and target general health. While it may be easy to see that chronic physical illness can damage your ability to work effectively, business owners may not as readily recognize the negative role untreated mental health can have on successfully running a small business.

Neglecting Mental Health: The Financial Pitfalls

Doctor bills can be substantial, even if you are adequately insured. For this reason, many people put off going to the doctor as long as possible. Although the fear or concern is understandable, allowing an ailment to go unchecked can result in much larger financial burdens and responsibilities, and maintenance or immediate treatment are the preferred route. What are the financial pitfalls of not immediately addressing mental health concerns?

Loss of Productivity

Neglected mental health can lead to a decrease in productivity. Depression and anxiety are the more common conditions that lead to decreases in productivity, but psychosis and mood and personality disorders can also lead to decreases in productivity. When your time is no longer utilized to the fullest extent, you could experience a loss in income.

Increased Medical Bills

Mental health can eventually result in the need for physical intervention, whether that intervention comes in the form of an extended hospital stay to monitor symptoms relating to depression, or an emergency room visit coming on the heels of a severe panic attack. If mental health is not addressed and maintained appropriately, it can easily lead to a sharp spike in necessary medical bills.

Decreases in Communication

Mental conditions can lead to decreases in communication. The potential financial fallback of decreased communication can be vast, and can include issues from team mismanagement, to lost clients. Decreases in communication can occur as a result of the memory loss and confusion associated with innumerable mental disorders, or can occur as a result of simple fear or anxiety linked to mental disorders.

Decreases in Physical Acuity

It may not seem to be related, but mental disorders and conditions can actually impair physical strength or ability. If your work involves physical movement or the use of strength, you can experience a significant decline in workplace ability, leading to lost profit.

While attending to mental health might initially feel like a drain on finances, mental health maintenance is just as important as the basics of general health maintenance, such as sleeping and eating healthy foods. If you invest in your mental health up front, you can avoid more expensive issues in the future.



Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.