For the past several years, the strain of financial stress has left Safiya Mayers with depression, anxiety, fatigue, aching muscles, weight fluctuations and chest pains.
The 25-year-old facilities coordinator in Toronto said she experienced considerable stress paying for tuition and rent as a university student in her early 20s, while also taking on student debt. She’s no longer in school, but a significant portion of her income goes towards paying rent, leaving it difficult to repay loans or build sizable savings.
“I have to move in December and I’m mostly likely going to have to sacrifice either a social life or renting my own place. When I think about my future, I have a lot of anxiety because I don’t have a cushion. I don’t have that proper foundation to know that I’m OK if the ground were to shake,” she said.
“I feel like my early 20s have been taken from me because I was always worried about my finances, which in turn has affected my health.”
Mayers isn’t alone. According to FP Canada’s Financial Stress Index, published in June 2021, 39 per cent of Canadians polled under 35 say that financial stress has led to health issues and 11 per cent of respondents under 35 say that financial stress has led to mental health challenges or substance abuse. Comparatively, 28 per cent of those over 35 say financial stress has impacted their health and 5 per cent say it’s led to mental health challenges and substance abuse…read more.