Cost of living crisis contributing to workplace mental health problems.

The crisis of living costs is worsening mental health problems among many in Britain, where the financial pressures are rising fast at just when it seems that the threat of lockdowns and quarantines is receding. Employees struggling to cope with spiralling costs of living are at higher risk of experiencing mental health problems, studies have found — leading to calls for employers to provide greater financial literacy initiatives, or direct support. As a result, a crisis in living costs poses a double-whammy blow to productivity, argues Steve Watson, head of propositions at Cushon, because the financial concerns affect the employees ability to perform their jobs in the first place, while they may also trigger mental health issues that can further hinder efficiency in the long run. A recent Sky News survey also found nearly one-third felt they were feeling more depression right now, suggesting that the cost of living crisis is having a serious effect on peoples mental health.    Show Source Texts

Almost two-thirds (61%) of 700 British women aged 25-50, who were polled by health platform Healthily, admitted the cost of living crisis was impacting on their mental and physical health, and over eight-in-ten (81%) reported higher levels of stress. The current crisis of living costs is causing chaos not just for peoples finances, but their mental health, with the result that more people in the north than ever before are having to rely on foodbanks and other public services to make ends meet. Research has shown that the cost of living crisis is already having a dramatic effect on peoples mental health and wellbeing, and things could only get worse as fuel and energy bills, prices, and inflation are all expected to increase even more in this autumn and winter. Allowing a rising cost of living to push more people into poverty would have severe consequences for public health, evidence published in this edition of The Lancet Public Health highlights.    Show Source Texts

Psychotherapist Noel McDermott added that, so far, the problem of the cost of living is the one that is potentially the most harmful to our health. Mental health charities say that increased demand for them is coming mostly from people who live in high-density areas, which are struggling most in an ongoing crisis over living costs. Whether that is the bills for water and electricity, or the costs of buying food, any increased financial burden on those factors could make a huge difference to a persons mental health. 

A recent Rethink mental illness survey, in which nearly one thousand individuals living with a mental illness were asked about their experiences with and priorities for finances, found that, even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, issues of money were highly associated with poor mental health. Vicky Nash, Head of Policy & Campaigns, Mind, said soaring inflation, coupled with uncertainty over jobs and incomes, was forcing people to make the impossible choice of between heating their homes and eating, putting huge pressures on people suffering from mental health issues. Disruptions in supply chains — caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate crisis, and Russias invasion of Ukraine – are driving the cost of living sharply higher for millions around the world.    Show Source Texts

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