Mark Pearce is caba’s Head of Service Development and Delivery. He holds a wealth of experience in health and social care, having worked previously with the UK’s National Health Service, as well as not-for-profit organisations and social housing groups.
As this financial crisis begins to really hit home, caba is receiving a noticeable increase in requests for much more extreme emotional support.
We’re seeing instances of self-harm and eating disorders, with even the children of members we speak with needing more intensive support. The research we’ve conducted for this report has found that nearly one-in-ten (9%) working and student accountants are regularly losing sleep over the cost-of-living crisis. And then there’s the ripple effect, on the surrounding family members. It’s like a pressure cooker, with feelings of inadequacy building and building.
It's easy to see where this pressure is coming from. Our financial wellbeing has the potential to affect our careers, our mental health and even our physical wellbeing. With the accountancy profession, specifically, there is a particular stigma surrounding the idea of being in debt, and the temptation is - understandably - to avoid the problem. To internalise your worries and bury your head in the sand.
We need to normalise conversations about debt, and find ways of encouraging people to open up sooner. If you don’t talk, you can’t find solutions. The earlier you face this problem, the easier it is to manage.
The first thing to do is have that initial conversation and get access to some practical solutions. Try to do this as quickly as possible - it’s always better to have an intervention at a good juncture, before spiralling into greater debt or financial anxiety and stress. If you can just tell someone that you’re struggling, you’re on your way to getting support and opening other doors. Take that first step. It won’t be as bad as you think.
At caba, our role is to help the accountancy community, without any fear of judgement. We have a wealth of onsite career-focussed advice, from personal development tactics to advice for those looking to make changes in their career. In addition, caba advisors can offer free, confidential financial help, as well as support to help members secure a longer-term financial future. We can also offer emotional support when money worries are taking a toll on members’ mental health. If you haven’t turned to us before, you might not be aware of what solutions caba offers. Our support officers will even just listen, if that’s what you need.