Have you ever tried to make a therapy appointment just to be met with unrealistic fees and a booked-out sched? That’s exactly what Maggie Rose Macar (she/her), founder and CEO of the mental health service zant., dealt with when seeking help after losing a friend to suicide in college.

Her pain quickly turned into a passion, and she eventually created a nonprofit with the goal of stopping mental health stigma and offering young people an opportunity to access affordable mental health services. The org grew and operated for 3 years until Covid hit, and then demand became higher than ever. In trying to figure out how to reach hundreds of people, Maggie and her team came up with the idea that would turn into zant.

Keep reading to hear Maggie’s thoughts on why financially investing in your mental health is worth it and the positive impact it can have on your finances.

Why is financially investing in your mental health worth the time and cost?
According to the World Health Organization, “It is difficult, if not impossible, for a person to flourish and feel fulfilled in life when [they are] beset, whether temporarily or permanently, by health problems such as depression and anxiety.” Whether you are struggling or curious, investing in your own mental health is the most important thing we can do for ourselves. Getting to your first session is half the battle because we are constantly living in shame and fear of the struggles we face every day. The difference between making that investment or not is the difference between starting a journey to live a happier and healthier life and remaining heartbroken, sad, and confused without support.

Why do you think investing in your mental health at a young age is important?
According to the Washington D.C. Department of Behavioral Health, “Untreated or unresolved mental health issues in childhood can result in enduring consequences.” My grandfather used to tell me, “Treat your body well while you’re young, and it will take care of you when you’re older.” I strongly believe that applies to our mental wellbeing, too. Life will always hit, and sometimes it hits really hard. What do you do then? Do you pick up a vice or do you schedule a session? As young people, we must focus on helping ourselves now so that we can cope with the grief and heartbreak that life can bring us at times.

Can focusing on your mental health have an impact on your finances?
In a Money and Mental Health survey, 72% of respondents said that their mental health problems had made their financial situation worse. Being clear-minded, at peace, and talking to someone regularly can begin to free us of self-limiting beliefs. Investing in yourself can help to restore a sense of clarity and gratitude that allows us to get the habits of managing our own money better. By regularly paying a low fee for mental health support, you are building the habit of putting yourself first while saving the funds that you need to survive. You are learning how to prioritize yourself in different ways, which in turn will positively impact your financial situation.