The price of Christmas on your mental health
Posted Thursday 10 January 2008
40 per cent increased levels of stress or anxiety
25 per cent increased levels of depression
An online poll conducted by Mind has today revealed the cost that Christmas spending can have on people's mental health. The charity found that 40 per cent of respondents were experiencing increased levels of stress and anxiety as a result of paying for the festive season and 25 per cent had increased feelings of depression.
Highlights of the Mind's Christmas spending snapshot poll (1) include:
- 19 per cent of people felt less able to manage their mental health because of worries about paying off the cost of Christmas
- 21 per cent face difficulty paying for food and 19 per cent paying their utility bills this January because of Christmas spending
- 20 per cent will have problems meeting their rent or mortgage payments this month
- Over 50 per cent admitted they had spent more than they could afford on Christmas
- 39 per cent used credit cards to cover the cost of Christmas
- 33 per cent estimated that it would take them more than six months to pay off their Christmas spending debt
Mind's Chief Executive Paul Farmer said: "Christmas is an expensive time of year but it's not just your wallet that could be hurt by excessive spending. Financial worries can have a devastating impact on mental health and can lead to serious problems such as stress, anxiety and depression."
"People who have mental health problems are already more likely to be living in poverty, with many dependent on benefits because they are too ill to work. Worries about finances and the prospect of not being able to afford the essentials like food, heating and electricity will only add to their distress."
"We are concerned that the predicted credit crunch in 2008 will result in more people experiencing money worries which could have a detrimental impact on their mental health. That's why this year Mind is launching a major new study investigating the real toll that poverty and debt has on mental health."
Mind has commissioned the Royal College of Psychiatrists to undertake a new piece of research that will look at how mental health affects your finances and how finances affect your mental health.
(1) Mind's Christmas spending snapshot poll was conducted on the Mind website from 20 December to 10 January. 116 people took part in the survey.
Notes to editors
For more information, interviews and a range of case studies please contact Mind press office on T: 020 8522 1743 M: 07850 788514 E: firstname.lastname@example.org ISDN line available: 020 8221 0817.
Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.