Money Wellness
illustrated woman with head in her hands surrounded by debt bills
category iconcost of living
calendar icon19 Mar 2024

Mental health issues caused by financial difficulty linked to cost-of-living crisis

A third of people struggling with their finances are experiencing suicidal thoughts, a report from the charity Mental Health Innovations revealed.

Mental Health Innovations runs the UK’s only free text help support service, Shout, which is available 24/7 for those who are suffering a mental health crisis or need support due to stress or anxiety.

The report analysed data from two million text conversations over five years. These were taken from its 24/7 helpline Shout, which also found that the cost-of-living crisis is the main issue in around 50 conversations a day.

Over a third of the people struggling felt lonely because of the cost-of-living crisis.

Half said that the cost-of-living crisis was causing major stress and worry for them.

People living in poverty are more likely to develop mental health problems than others, but they’re also the least likely to have access to good channels of support.

The report supports this, showing that the demand for Shout is highest people living in the most deprived regions of the UK, based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation. It was also found that of the people under 18, 25% of them get free school meals.

Half of the people who texted Shout with financial difficulties experience stress and worry and over a third (36%) struggle with suicidal ideation.

These findings are bleak, but money worries and mental health are inextricably linked, and data like this needs to be highlighted. Of those living with mental health problems, almost one in five simultaneously experience problem debt. And almost half of those with problem debt say it has affected their mental health.

In January this year, 65% of the people we helped needed extra support, with 43% citing their mental health as a factor and a half saying they were suffering with depression.

Talking to someone could help

Many felt the weight had been lifted after speaking with our advisers and finding a solution to their money problems, but we had to refer a further 23% on to other specialist mental health organisations for further support.

You don’t have to suffer alone

If you’re currently in financial difficulty and struggling with your mental health, you’re not alone, and help is available.

The connection between money worries and mental health can feel confusing to navigate, but we’ve broken it down for you.

If debt worries are damaging your mental health, you don’t have to manage alone. Customers tell us it feels like a weight’s been lifted off their shoulders after speaking to us, so why not get in touch and see how we can help.

Mental Health charity Mind are accessible and will know how to help you get the professional support you need. And if you’re looking for local mental-health support, you can search for help in your area on the ReThink Mental Illness website.

Avatar of Lydia Bell-Jones

Lydia Bell-Jones

With a background in banking, Lydia has been writing professionally for over five years. She is passionate about helping people improve their personal finances and has a particular interest in the connection between money and mental health.

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