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Cost of living and mental health - CBT Kenya
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  • Posted by: cbtkeadmin

Cost of living and mental health – CBT Kenya

Our basic human needs of staying warm, safe and having enough to eat are being challenged.

The cost of living is a pressing issue that affects individuals and families worldwide. It encompasses the expenses necessary to maintain a basic standard of living, including housing, food, transportation, healthcare, and education. As the cost of living continues to rise, it has a profound impact on people’s financial stability and overall well-being. One critical aspect of this impact is its effect on mental health. In this article, we will explore the relationship between the cost of living and mental health, examining the various ways in which financial stressors can contribute to mental health challenges.

The Rising Cost of Living

The cost of living has been steadily increasing in many parts of the world over the past several decades. Housing prices, in particular, have skyrocketed in many metropolitan areas, making it increasingly challenging for individuals and families to find affordable and stable housing. Coupled with rising healthcare costs, education expenses, and inflation, the financial burden on individuals can become overwhelming.

Financial Stress and Mental Health

  1. Anxiety and Depression: Financial stressors can lead to heightened levels of anxiety and depression. The constant worry about making ends meet, paying bills, and managing debt can take a severe toll on one’s mental health. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness can become pervasive, leading to a downward spiral of negative emotions.
  2. Relationship Strain: Financial strain often spills over into personal relationships. Arguments and conflicts related to money matters are common and can strain marriages, friendships, and family ties. This added stress can further exacerbate mental health challenges, leading to a sense of isolation and loneliness.
  3. Reduced Access to Healthcare: In some cases, individuals facing financial difficulties may forego necessary healthcare services due to the high cost. This can lead to the neglect of physical and mental health needs, resulting in more severe health problems down the line.
  4. Impact on Daily Life: The constant need to budget and cut expenses can lead to a reduced quality of life. For instance, individuals may skip social outings, recreational activities, or vacations due to financial constraints, which can contribute to feelings of isolation and a lack of life satisfaction.
  5. Increased Risk of Substance Abuse: Some individuals may turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism for their financial stressors. This can lead to addiction issues, which further compound mental health challenges.

Coping Strategies and Solutions

  • Financial Literacy: Promoting financial literacy and education is essential to help individuals and families manage their finances better. Understanding budgeting, savings, and investment strategies can empower people to make informed financial decisions.
  • Accessible Mental Health Services: Ensuring that mental health services are accessible and affordable is crucial. This includes destigmatizing seeking help for mental health issues and providing resources for counseling and therapy.
  • Social Support: Building a strong support network can mitigate the impact of financial stress on mental health. Friends and family can provide emotional support and practical assistance during difficult times.
  • Government Policies: Governments can play a significant role in addressing the cost of living and its impact on mental health. Policies that promote affordable housing, accessible healthcare, and a fair minimum wage can alleviate some of the financial burdens on individuals and families.

Workplace Initiatives

Flexible Work Arrangements: Encourage employers to offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible hours, to help employees better balance work and personal life.

Mental Health Programs: Promote mental health awareness in the workplace by providing resources, training, and support for employees dealing with mental health challenges.

Financial Wellness Programs: Offer financial education and wellness programs as part of employee benefits packages to help employees manage their finances.

Accessible Mental Health Support

Mental Health Education: Raise awareness about mental health issues and reduce the stigma associated with seeking help through public campaigns and educational programs.

Affordable Counseling Services: Advocate for increased access to affordable mental health services, including counseling and therapy. Employers can also offer employee assistance programs (EAPs) that provide access to counseling services.

Telehealth Options: Promote telehealth services for mental health support, making it easier for individuals to access care from the comfort of their homes.

Community Support Groups: Encourage the establishment of local support groups and community resources for individuals dealing with mental health challenges.


The cost of living is a complex issue that affects nearly every aspect of our lives, including our mental health. As the financial pressures continue to mount, it’s essential to recognize the profound impact these stressors can have on our well-being. By addressing the root causes of rising living costs, promoting financial literacy, and improving access to mental health services, we can work toward a future where individuals and families can maintain their mental health and financial stability simultaneously.


Author: cbtkeadmin
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