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Our work on the cost of living crisis

We're facing the biggest cost of living crisis in a generation, and it's affecting mental health. We're calling on the government to make things right.

Food. Fuel. Power. Housing costs. This crisis is hitting everyone from all directions with a speed and severity we’ve not seen in decades.

It’s hard to overstate how big an impact this is going to have on our mental health. This is an emergency. An emergency everyone needs help to deal with.

We already know that poverty and mental health problems have a 2-way link that needs to be broken. If we’re not careful, this crisis will push more people into that cycle. We just can’t let that happen.

How is the cost of living crisis affecting mental health?

The cost of living crisis is already taking a huge toll on mental health. Mind’s own research has shown that nearly half of people say their mental health has been impacted by the crisis. And more than one in five are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.

Those of us with mental health problems said they’re washing clothes less. They’re being hounded on bills. They’re watching every single penny. In a survey earlier this year, one in four people told us they couldn’t afford to put the heating on.

Our Infoline has seen a jump in calls from people talking to us about problems with money, unemployment and welfare since summer 2021. This increased a further 10% in winter 2022/23. Calls about money now make up a bigger share of all our Infoline calls than they did last year. And people are telling us they’re more on edge about their finances right now.

It’s making that 2-way link between money and mental health clear. More people are experiencing mental health problems because of this crisis. And people who already had a mental health problem are struggling more.

What we think the UK government should do

This is an emergency – and the systems that we have in place right now don’t do enough to help anyone through this crisis. Here’s what we think the UK government should do to make things right:

  • Make sure benefits can actually cover costs. This must change – people need support right now.

  • Create a humane benefits system. This means no more sanctions for disabled people. Making benefit assessments fairer. And making sure benefits pay enough to actually protect people from poverty too.

  • More money for mental health services. This is key in breaking the 2-way link between poverty and mental health. The stress caused by this crisis means we need better support now. 

Need support on money and mental health? 

Being stressed about money is exhausting. It’s something that never goes away – no matter what you do, the worry is always there. It can put a real strain on your mental health. If you’re worried about money and it’s affecting your mental health, we have some information that might be helpful.

Find out about money and mental health

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