Financial Management and Mental Health in Malaysia: Empowering Financial Well-being for Positive Mental Health 

The relationship between financial management and mental health is a critical aspect of overall well-being. In Malaysia, where financial stress and mental health issues are prevalent, understanding the connection between the two is essential. This article aims to explore the impact of financial management on mental health in Malaysia, providing statistical insights into the current scenario. By recognizing the statistics, policymakers and individuals can prioritize financial literacy and management as crucial factors in promoting positive mental health outcomes.

Financial Stress and Mental Health:

Financial stress is a significant contributor to mental health issues in Malaysia. According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey conducted by the Ministry of Health Malaysia in 2019, 29.2% of Malaysians reported experiencing financial stress, which is associated with higher rates of depression and anxiety (Institute for Public Health, 2019). Financial difficulties, such as debt and insufficient savings, contribute to increased psychological distress and lower well-being.

Debt Burden and Mental Health:

The burden of debt is a growing concern for Malaysians and can significantly impact mental health. A study by Mohamad et al. (2017) found that high levels of debt were associated with increased psychological distress among Malaysian adults. This suggests that managing debt and maintaining healthy financial habits are essential for preserving mental well-being.

Financial Literacy and Mental Health:

Financial literacy plays a crucial role in managing personal finances and promoting positive mental health outcomes. However, statistics indicate a need for improvement in financial literacy among Malaysians. The Financial Capability and Inclusion Survey conducted by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2019 revealed that only 35% of Malaysians demonstrated satisfactory financial literacy levels (Bank Negara Malaysia, 2019). Insufficient financial knowledge can lead to poor financial decisions, financial stress, and subsequent mental health issues.

Impacts on Work Performance:

Financial stress and poor financial management can also impact work performance and productivity. A survey by the Malaysian Employers Federation found that financial problems among employees resulted in increased absenteeism, decreased productivity, and workplace stress (Malaysian Employers Federation, 2017). This demonstrates the interplay between financial management, mental health, and overall occupational well-being.

Promoting Financial Resilience:

Developing financial resilience is crucial in mitigating the negative effects of financial stress on mental health. Building an emergency fund, practicing effective budgeting, and acquiring financial management skills can enhance financial resilience. A study by Zainal et al. (2020) highlighted the positive association between financial resilience and mental well-being among Malaysian adults.

Government Initiatives and Support:

The Malaysian government has recognized the importance of financial management and mental health. Initiatives such as the National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2019-2023 and mental health promotion programs aim to enhance financial literacy and mental well-being among Malaysians (Securities Commission Malaysia, 2019; Ministry of Health Malaysia, 2019). These efforts emphasize the significance of collaboration between governmental organizations, educational institutions, and community stakeholders in addressing financial management and mental health concerns.

The statistics reveal the intricate relationship between financial management and mental health in Malaysia. High levels of financial stress, debt burden, and low financial literacy contribute to mental health issues among Malaysians. By prioritizing financial literacy, promoting responsible financial management practices, and providing support systems, individuals can proactively address their financial well-being and positively impact their mental health. Government initiatives and collaborative efforts are crucial in ensuring the accessibility of financial education and mental health resources, paving the way for a financially and mentally healthy Malaysia.


Bank Negara Malaysia. (2019). Financial Capability and Inclusion Survey 2019. Retrieved from

Institute for Public Health. (2019). National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019: Non-Communicable Diseases, Healthcare Demand, and Health Literacy. Retrieved from 

Malaysian Employers Federation. (2017). Financial Distress: Its Impact on Employees and Employers. Retrieved from

Ministry of Health Malaysia. (2019). National Mental Health Survey 2019. Retrieved from

Securities Commission Malaysia. (2019). National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2019-2023. Retrieved from 

Zainal, H., Islam, R., & Ismail, S. (2020). The association between financial resilience and mental well-being among Malaysian adults. International Journal of Business and Society, 21(S1), 202-221.