Recently, I published an article on the Huffington Post Canada titled Why I’m Willing to Pay More Taxes for Mental Health Services. The response to that article was astounding. As of today, it’s gotten 2,500 likes, nearly 500 Facebook shares and over 100 Twitter shares.
The article is about a friend of mine named Jessica (her name and certain details have been changed) who became depressed and suicidal after being out of work for over a year. Despite doing everything she could to deal with her depression, she felt she needed the one-on-one therapy recommended by her doctor but couldn’t afford it. In the article, I tell the story about how I helped her search for free or low cost services only to come up empty handed. I conclude by suggesting that given that we have governments who don’t have money for new programs, we might consider paying more taxes to fund better mental health services. The idea came to me because I was frustrated about hearing everyone talk about how much we needed better services after someone famous like Robin Williams died but no one taking action on it. This was partly inspired by a recent post about a study showing Millennials are willing to pay more taxes if their money goes to specific policy outcomes.
While this is a website about personal finance, I think it’s important to talk about issues that matter to Millennials and that intersect with money and values. What’s unique about Gen Y is that we’re a generation who values other things above money. Sure, money is great – but we care about causes too, and our friends and family. We take jobs because of how well they allow us to balance work and life or how much they fit with our values.
I might be a personal finance blogger now, but my background is as a feminist activist, and I currently work to raise money for sustainable food systems and food security. There are many Millennials who come from similar backgrounds. This blog will include not just their stories, but it will focus on issues that matter to them and that have a financial aspect to them. Are Millennials concerned about their financial future in the face of climate change? I will write about that. Are they wanting to find ways to give back to causes they care about while also saving up for a down payment? I will write about that.
I will also use this blog to keep you updated on Jessica’s story. Money matters to Millennials because of what it can do or the freedom it provides. As we continue to make more money as a generation and get into positions of power, it’s important that we recognize what we can do with that power and how we can help the causes we support and the people we love.