“Financial Health” is Good Medicine in Mental Health Care


In this piece for the Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry blog, Lucile Bruce highlights the work of Associate Research Scientist Dr. Annie Harper, whose research seeks to determine the impact of poverty on those diagnosed with serious mental illness.

“‘Some of the things we think of as ‘mental health problems’ are actually poverty problems,’ she explains. ‘If we solved people’s financial problems, I think many of their other problems would go away.’

It’s a radical thesis, one that Harper is uniquely equipped to test. An anthropologist by training (she earned her PhD from Yale in 2010), Harper spent many years working in international microfinance and has a Masters in Political Economy of Development. An Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Program for Recovery & Community Health in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, she studies ‘financial health’— the point of intersection between people with serious mental illness and their money.”


  1. Okay Captain Obvious! But what about what is available to them for jobs and income ranges that they earn and how they are forced to use some of these financial tools developed to make profit off the low income bracket; because they have no choice but to use these services.

    Report comment

  2. Hospital costs would bankrupt almost anyone while financial “health” is what the professional caste charged with “helping” or managing the “mentally ill” receive. These people live in residential areas while their clientele are stuck in the ghetto. The end of the “mental health” ghetto is the end of the “mental health” system. You can’t make your living off the poor once poverty has been eliminated. Of course, we’re not going there because it would put some folks jobs in jeopardy.

    Report comment