Government urged to consider people’s mental health in the autumn statement
The government needs to take action in today’s autumn statement to address the persistent money worries that are driving an ongoing cycle of despair for many people across the UK, it has been claimed.
Unacceptable levels of mental distress
According to the Mental Health Foundation, current levels of mental distress in the UK are unacceptable and there are steps the government could take to ease the problem.
The charity’s latest poll carried out in the past few weeks found 31% of adults had felt anxious, 27% had felt stressed and 9% had felt hopeless about their financial situation in the last month.
Poorest carrying the heaviest burden
Dr Shari McDaid from the Mental Health Foundation commented:
“Sometimes it can seem that there is a strange sense of normality about the struggles that people are experiencing; as though we must accept that, despite living in one of the richest countries on Earth, research from the Trussell Trust tells us that one in seven of us face hunger due to lack of money to buy food.”
“[I]t is the people who have the least that carry the heaviest burdens”.
Mental health impact assessments
McDaid called on the government to introduce a mental health impact assessment for all its policies to encourage the changes needed to support good mental health for all.
She said the decision to freeze the income tax-free allowance until 2028 was one policy having a disastrous effect on the mental health of people on low incomes, as they lose a higher proportion of their salaries as inflation increases.
Much work to be done
“There is much work to be done: In this week’s autumn statement, we need to hear about financial support schemes that will prevent people from experiencing financial strain and associated mental health problems.
“That would be a step in the right direction.”
A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.
28 Feb 2024
This time next week, Jeremy Hunt will have delivered his spring budget. Here's some changes we'd like to see to support millions of financially vulnerable households
27 Feb 2024
The Resolution Foundation warns the cost-of-living crisis is stopping poorest households from building up financial resilience. Find out if you're eligible for a Help to Save account.
26 Feb 2024
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is urging pensioners to check if they qualify for pension credit and get a backdated cost of living payment – or miss out