Credit unions – minding your mental health the world over

On the third Thursday in October every year since 1948, the credit union world comes together to celebrate International Credit Union Day.  It’s a day to reflect on the core values and purpose of credit unions and our difference as organisations. 

Each year the World Council of Credit Unions sets a theme for the global celebrations and this year’s theme is Building Financial Health for a Brighter Tomorrow.  We think this is a really relevant and timely focus as we tentatively emerge from the pandemic and begin to put the pieces of our lives back together. 

And the need to reflect on what it means to be a credit union is one that is more fresh in our minds than ever here at The Co-op Credit Union, as we begin to bring together the threads of our year-long Purpose Project process which we began in January.  Just last week we held two member focus groups to explore some of the themes that are emerging from the Project and to test out the ideas that we have for how we can do even more to support our members. 

Purpose Project Online Focus Group – it was great to see and hear from our members!

As part of the focus groups we explored the social issues which are most important to our membership and the feedback very much reflected what you told us in our recent Purpose Project member survey.  One particularly strong thread was the importance of mental health and wellbeing as an issue that many of you are thinking about, and is it any wonder after the traumatic time we’ve all been living through? 

It’s well reported how interconnected and mutually reinforcing mental health and financial health are for people and households.  Poor mental health can lead us to make bad financial decisions – spending money we can’t afford to deal with emotional distress – and the worry that all too often goes along with making ends meet financially is one of the most common contributors to anxiety and depression. 

So we’re on a mission to deepen the ways in which our services support your mental health and wellbeing by helping you take the worry out of money and we’re excited about some of the ways we think we can do that. We’ll be making announcements around our plans over the coming months. 

But you don’t have long to wait before we get started.  November sees the country mark Talk Money Week which is a national campaign to get people talking about their money.  We’re excited to be planning the first two instalments of a new podcast which we’ll be launching to coincide with Talk Money Week and we’ll be making these available for you in next month’s member email newsletter. 

In the meantime, why not check out the resources available online around Talk Money Week and get talking about your money now!