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Mental health of over half of people in Wales negatively affected by cost of living crisis

Monday, 15 May 2023 Mind
  • Our survey showed that the mental health of more than half (53%) of people in Wales negatively affected by financial impact of cost of living crisis [see note 1]

  • Of those, nearly three fifths (58%) said the cost of living crisis had made them more anxious

  • Yet 73% of those negatively affected haven’t accessed support through a local mental health charity in the past year

  • Mind Cymru is encouraging those finding it difficult to cope to seek support and speak to Mind

The mental health of over half (53%) of people in Wales has been negatively affected by the cost-of-living crisis. This is according to new research released today from mental health charity Mind Cymru.

More than half of people (58%) whose mental health has been impacted, say the cost of living crisis has made them more anxious. Nearly three fifths (59%) are feeling more stressed, nearly half are feeling more depressed (48%), and a third are feeling lonely (35%). [see note 2]

Most concerning of all is that so many people are not getting the support they need. For example, over half (53%) haven't accessed support from a GP, two thirds (64%) haven’t accessed online mental health information resources, and the majority (73%) haven't accessed support through a local mental health charity. [see note 3] That’s why this mental Health Awareness Week, Mind Cymru is encouraging people that may be struggling to get support.

David, from Denbighshire, has severe anxiety and PTSD as well as a diagnosis of autism. His mental health problems have left him unable to work and the cost of living crisis had left him seriously concerned about his finances. Support from his local Mind allowed him to tackle this problem. He said:

“My severe anxiety and a diagnosis of PTSD left me unable to work, and last summer it was weighing on me that I’d have to speak with the DWP about my support. My link worker Janet made the effort to come to my home, and for four hours she helped me as I told the nurse on the phone about just how much my mental health was affecting my day to day life. It was a real struggle – I was crying and even had panic attacks – but Janet was there. She said “Tell the truth Dave, how do you really feel?”.

“A few months later I received confirmation that I’d continue to receive support until 2025 – the nurse I’d spoken to had made sure of it.

“I started to feel calmer. It was actually life changing - I could relax for the first time in my life in a financial sense. Although I still had problems with my mental health, this was a weight off my shoulders; financial worries had taken my mental health to a whole new level.

“All of this was thanks to Janet sitting here and letting the real Dave speak for himself. Giving me a voice.”

Sue O’Leary, Director of Mind Cymru, said:

“The uncertainty of watching as our costs spiral can be difficult to bear and having so much to deal with can affect our mental health. Despite this, looking after our mental wellbeing is often last on our list. It’s really important that we all get the support we need - this is a mental health emergency that everyone is going to need help to deal with.

"We know we can’t fix the cost of living crisis but support for your mental health is out there and we are here for you. This includes through Mind’s Infoline, online community, Side by Side and the useful information available on our website.”

Mind Cymru has advice for managing money if you are experiencing poor mental health. For example, making sure you are claiming any extra money or support you are entitled to and getting to know your money and mood patterns. More information about Mental Health Awareness Week, including advice on money and mental health visit Mind’s website

About the poll:

Survey was carried out by Censuswide on behalf of Mind Cymru with a sample of 1,000 people in Wales between 24.03.2023 - 12.04.2023. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles. Censuswide are also part of The British Polling Council.

Further Notes:

1. Figures combine “My mental health has significantly declined”, “My mental health has somewhat declined” and “My mental health has been negatively affected by the impact of the cost of living crisis on my finances, but is overall similar/the same as last year”

2. All figures based on the 533/3015 respondents who were applicable to provide a response.

3. Figures combine “Thought about accessing” or “Not accessed, not thought about it” and “I am not on any waiting list for, have not used, and have not thought about using any formalised mental health supports or resources to address this” for “Your GP”, “Online mental health information resources” and “Support through a local mental health charity” respectively. Both figures based on the 1000/3015 respondents who were applicable to provide a response.

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