Pollard & Associates Inc. (www.pollardandassociates.ca), an insolvency and financial restructuring firm operating within the GTA, weighs in on the financial trauma due to Covid-19. An article written by Melissa Alice, presented by TVO provides insight on the psychological effects of financial stress. (Source: TVO, Its time to reckon with a major side effect of covid-19: financial trauma, August 31, 2020; https://www.tvo.org/article/its-time-to-reckon-with-a-major-side-effect-of-covid-19-financial-trauma. )

Melissa Alice begins to explain, prior to Covid-19 Canadians were experiencing record hitting debt levels. Families and businesses who were struggling have now been pushed to their financial limits once the coronavirus began to take over our economy and impact our lives. Melissa continues to address that in a money driven society, those who experience financial difficulty or those who are unable to manage their financial status are labeled as having character inadequacies. With the fear of being judged, individuals who are under financial stress do not ask for help. Angela Pollard, President of Pollard & Associates Inc., shares, “fear of reaching out for help is a reoccurring and common emotional response. Our firm has seen many individuals under various financial circumstances struggle with the emotional aspect of financial stress. We encourage seeking financial guidance and counselling, as it is a nonjudgmental and confidential financial aid. The client is free to openly discuss their hardship.”

Melissa continues to share, Covid-19 has amplified the negative relationship we have with money. Melissa also describes what is now known as financial trauma; it is not considered a diagnosis however, it is a term we can potentially relate to. “Financial trauma is characterized as a dysfunctional reaction to chronic financial stress and financial post-traumatic stress disorder — the physical, emotional, and cognitive deficits people experience when they cannot cope with either abrupt financial loss or the chronic stress of having inadequate financial resources”. Angela expresses, “no one could have predicted the amount of global financial hardship Covid-19 has inflicted upon us. The term “financial trauma” as described in the article is a very real situation. There are many solutions to help those in need, the first step to take is to ask for assistance.”

Melissa provides some heavy hitting statistics which outline the gravity of the financial impact. “The average Canadian household had almost $1.78 in debt for every $1 of income. Credit-rating agency Equifax Canada said that, by the end of 2019, consumer debt (commonly referred to as “bad” debt) had increased 2.7 percent”. Angela expresses, “the numbers will continue to fluctuate and as the article suggests it will get worse before it gets any better. Although government programs are available (the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit and the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy), it will take some time to build back what we have lost. However, we believe it is possible, there is help available, and most importantly, it is essential to know that you are not alone. There are many families and businesses being affected. For additional support, consider reaching out to others who share your concern; it is a time to help one another.”

If you have experienced the negative financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, call Pollard & Associates Inc.