Here at SistersInHealth.com, my goal is to empower black women with knowledge on all aspects of their health. As such, I believe that financial health, is equally important as physical, mental and spiritual health. Stressors related to money or lack thereof, impact all aspects of your health. Here are a few ways this is demonstrated:
- Lack of financial resources may mean lack of access to health insurance or the inability to afford medication.
- Financial worries can cause mental stress and mental illness.
- Financial worries can leave you feeling spiritually defeated if you start to lose hope.
Your physical, mental, financial and spiritual health are all interconnected. As a practicing physician, I see this play out in so many ways. Financial stress can cause depression, anxiety, insomnia and stress eating to name a few. Consequently, I became very disturbed when I read an article from Black Enterprise magazine about the rise in the income gap for black women. Since 2009, African American women have seen the largest decline in earnings at -3.9%. For white women, the decline was -0.2% and -0.8% for Hispanic women. There is potential for higher rates of disease in black women if this trend continues. We already know that black women experience healthcare disproportionally to other races.
Despite the rise in income gap for black women, there is one bright spot highlighted in the article. More people have access to healthcare because of the Affordable Health Care Act. More access to healthcare should hopefully translate into better disease outcomes for black women.
Read more from the Black Enterprise article here.