Mental Health and the Foresight of the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act

2018-10-04   minute read

John Athanasiou

Lifestyle Debt

I doubt that mental health was on the minds of legislators when the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) came into effect in 1950. More likely, I believe they wanted to — as the act says — create a financial rehabilitation system that would provide honest and unfortunate debtors with a financial fresh start. But intentional or not, I have to applaud their foresight.


Mental Health and Debt

The more clients I meet with, the more I appreciate the significant role the BIA plays in improving outcomes and quality of life for people struggling with mental illness. Eliminating debt is far from a catchall cure, but it certainly makes a significant difference. By reducing (or eliminating) one of the biggest stressors anyone can experience, studies show people usually feel less overwhelmed, think more clearly and can better focus their attention toward seeking treatment and building healthy and productive lives.

Consider a recent McMaster University survey of individuals in the Hamilton workforce born between 1982 – 1997: Nearly a third (29%) reported their mental health as being poor or fair. More than three-quarters of that group (80%) said high debt loads, lack of full-time employment or their high cost of living were causing them to experience financial instability. That's a stark correlation.

Shifting the Conversation

While this survey only captured the feelings of millennials, I urge you to not discount its findings. Mental illness has been pervasive throughout human history. It was just as prevalent in 1950 as it is today, but only recently is it getting the attention and discussion it needs and deserves. And thankfully, millennials are leading that discussion.

Millennials who aren't afraid to admit they're struggling financially, who are more willing to admit when they're feeling anxious or depressed, who are more willing to reach out and ask for help when they need it — be that from a doctor or a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

Life-Changing Debt Solutions

Whether you worry your mental health is affecting your financial decisions, or your feel like your financial situation is affecting your mental health — help is available.

During a Free Confidential Consultation, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee will review your entire financial situation and identify your options. Whether you'd benefit from a Life-Changing Debt Solution such as a Consumer Proposal or bankruptcy — or would benefit from a different option — they'll help you make the decision that's best for you. That way you can finally set your financial instability aside, achieve a financial fresh start and get one step closer to realizing better mental wellness.

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