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Expert: Soaring gas prices taking toll on Hoosier health

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Latest data shows Indiana residents are now paying an average of $4.24 per gallon for regular unlimited gas.

But, Hoosiers are also paying another price. The financial stresses of keeping a full tank are not only emptying wallets, but putting a strain on physical and mental health.

Evidence shows money woes and poor health are inextricably linked. This pressure manifests through physical ways causing anxiety, a compromised immune system, increases in blood pressure and more.

News 8 spoke with Ted Grain, vice president of Social Determinants of Health at Eskenazi, who says there is a way for cash-strapped Hoosiers to keep their health intact during these difficult times.

“A key part of this is community,” Grain said. “So, who do you have in your life that you can count on? Do you have a close partner? Do you have close friends? Do you have a community of sorts that you can get together with on a regular basis that you can rely on? All of those things make you more resilient, so that when things like rising gas prices happen, you’re still seeing that you have people who support you.”

In the short-term, Grain suggests going for a walk with a friend to talk out your problems, while simultaneously getting a daily dose of exercise in.

Grain goes on to say that, in addition to people, there are places to turn to for help. Grain recommends people make an appointment with their primary care physician, who can direct those struggling to community resources such as mental health counseling, financial literacy classes, and food assistance programs.