The cost of living crisis is already having a sharp impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing, research has suggested, and things may get worse with fuel and energy bills, prices and inflation all set to rise further this autumn and winter.
More than a third of consumers (38%) are reporting their financial situation is making them feel stressed or anxious, and a quarter (26%) even say they are feeling depressed, according to a poll of 1,428 UK workers by MetLife.
The warning comes just days after the Royal College of Psychiatrists said the rising cost of living risked causing a knock-on mental health crisis of “pandemic proportions”.
The MetLife poll found that around a third of respondents (31%) have experienced a loss of sleep because of worry, while more than a fifth (21%) say the crisis is leaving them feeling mentally or physically exhausted.
The financial uncertainty is also putting a strain on people’s relationships with 15% saying that it has led to arguments, and a further quarter believing money worries have affected their relationships.
Cost of living and health
Rich Horner, head of individual protection at MetLife, said: “This latest research clearly shows that the ongoing cost-of-living crisis is putting extreme levels of pressure on UK adults’ mental health.
“After struggling through the Covid-19 pandemic, adults have been dealt another blow to their mental wellbeing, with now almost 40% of the adult population feeling stressed or anxious about their current financial situation.
“Strikingly, 30% of those surveyed said that they don’t have anywhere, or anyone, to turn to for support, and only 2% admitted to turning to professional help in the form of their doctor or employer,” added Horner.