Brits struggle with mental health due to cost of living crisis

A poll of 2,000 adults found 27 per cent have really taken a hit when it comes to their wellbeing, because of a lack of finances

Charlotte Minett
Tuesday 19 September 2023 15:41 BST
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

People in Edinburgh, Leicester and Glasgow are struggling the most with their mental health - due to the cost of living crisis.

A poll of 2,000 adults found 27 per cent have really taken a hit when it comes to their wellbeing, because of a lack of finances.

Newcastle, London and Leeds are other key cities where people are most affected.

Cutting down on socialising, gym memberships and nutritious food to save money are reasons why so many feel disheartened and worried about their mental wellbeing.

And 40 per cent are dreading the winter as they are unsure if they will be able to afford energy bills to heat their home.

The survey was commissioned by British Gas, which is working with Professor Green to raise awareness of the struggles so many are facing and highlight the free support available in the new phase of the British Gas Post Office Pop-Ups.

The musician and mental health advocate said: “As a parent your first instinct is to protect and provide, and when you’re doing everything you can, and that’s still not enough, it has a profound impact on your mental health.

“Shame, stigma and fear can keep people from speaking up for help, but it’s the best thing you can do – for yourself, your family and your community.

“Stress and anxiety breed in uncertainty so I really encourage you to visit a British Gas Post Office Pop-Up or contact the British Gas Energy Trust to help you gain confidence in, and control of, your future.“

The research found 14 per cent of adults are cutting back on how often they shower to lower their bills, and 21 per cent aren’t buying birthday gifts for loved ones.

One in 20 (five per cent) say their kids are missing out on new toys. Just over half (55 per cent) believe their mental health would definitely improve if they were more financially stable.

People in Manchester were found to be most likely to skip using heat or electricity to keep their homes warm.

But those in Edinburgh were most likely to report that they have had issues with money that have led to incurring additional debt, like credit cards.

Only 27 per cent of all adults polled via OnePoll are confident they are accessing all the benefits they may be entitled to when it comes to support with their energy bills.

One in 10 also believe the rising cost of energy has caused them a great deal of additional stress.

And 25 per cent baldly state they are expecting to struggle to pay their energy bills through the rest of the year.

Nearly the same amount (24 per cent) said the current cost of living crisis has been just as bad for their mental health as the Covid-19 pandemic.

British Gas Energy Trust CEO Jessica Taplin said: “Debt and money stresses are debilitating, which is why we are delighted to be offering money and energy advisors funded by us in Post Offices across the country.

“Working with an artist like Professor Green can really help raise awareness, and let people know it’s good to talk about the things that are worrying them.”

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