Closely related to employment is financial security, which is protective of health for all people. In contrast, financial problems are a significant source of stress. Many people with mental illness have reduced financial capacity, often through inability to sustain full-time paid employment, and must subsist on disability support pensions and illness benefits. Financial planning and budgeting can also be compromised by some of the symptoms of mental illness, such as disorganisation. Furthermore, behavioural factors, such as smoking cigarettes, can cause financial difficulties for people on limited incomes. Families and carers report that budgeting and finance are major concerns, and that it is difficult to obtain effective support in this area.

My son is on a pension, which is deposited fortnightly by Centrelink into his bank. He then takes a little bit of money out each day, until it is all gone. So, the bank charges him for every one of these transactions. Last month the bank transaction fees were $26 out of his pension. How is that fair? —Carer
Financial hardship has flow-on effects to many other risk and protective factors as it can limit opportunities and increase risks, such as inappropriate housing. Help with financial organisation and budgeting can be essential to enabling a more stable lifestyle that is conducive to staying well and preventing relapse.