One Third Of UK Adults Report Financial Anxiety
Updated: Jan 29
The Mental Health Foundation charity reports that over a third of adults are feeling anxious about their financial circumstances, and almost a third are feeling stressed. Meanwhile, one in 10 adults feel hopeless about their financial situation, according to a survey of 3,000 people aged over 18, which was conducted just before the Autumn Statement.
With soaring energy and food costs, rising rents and mortgage rates, living standards in the UK have fallen to the lowest since records began. More people are now worried about being able to afford their basic needs, including heat, accommodation, and food, so the reported spike in anxiety, stress, and depression is no surprise.
Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of Mental Health Foundation, said: “Our findings are a warning sign of the mental health consequences of the cost-of-living crisis. We must protect public services and benefits at this crucial time.”
He added: “If people are struggling to meet their essential needs for a warm home and enough healthy food for their families, we can expect a significant rise in mental health problems as the burden of financial strain continues to take its toll.”
“The UK Government should consider the mental health impact of all decisions that affect the cost-of-living crisis. Other measures we ask for include maintaining and extending free or subsidised public transport to allow people to connect with friends and family and increasing the provision of debt advice and other vital community services."
Mental health problems are also contributing to the slowdown of the UK economy, a recent BBC article explains. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the amount of people in the UK on long-term sick has risen from 2 million in 2009, to 2.5 million today.
Some of the increase can be attributed to cases of long Covid and record NHS waiting lists, but the figures were already starting to rise even before the pandemic. Since 2019, there has been a 22% rise in people citing mental health and nervous disorders as the reason they are too sick to work.
More worryingly still, there has been a 50% rise in the number of young people aged between 16 and 24 unable to work because of poor mental health since 2006, with the highest proportion of these being young men. According to the charity young minds, over half of these people have attempted self-harm or suicide.
It is suggested that at least part of the problem is that the NHS mental health services are inadequately equipped to meet the scale of the challenge. Many people simply aren’t able to access help when they need it, often being placed on months-long waiting lists.
Some people find that that they can manage their mental health successfully through lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise, eating more healthily, and cutting back on alcohol consumption. Meditation techniques and mindfulness therapy also work very well for many people.
If you are interested in working with a mindful therapist based in Harley Street London, please get in touch today.