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Survey reveals the mental health impact of the cost-of-living crisis

Posted on the 9th December 2022

Cost of Living Crisis

A new survey has revealed the shocking impact rising costs and soaring bills are having on mental health.

The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute reported that 17 per cent of respondents to the survey said they had experienced suicidal ideation over the past nine months owing to the rising cost of living.

About three in 10 of the 2,049 UK adults selected by YouGov said they had fallen behind with at least one bill.

The polling found harassment by debt collectors was playing a big role in the mental health of those in arrears. At least 11 per cent of those questioned said they now “dread” opening the post from banks, energy companies and other creditors.

The report’s authors are now calling on the UK government to urgently adopt US-style rules to stop debt collectors bombarding people about overdue bills.

Founded by consumer champion Martin Lewis, the charity stated there are currently no legal rules in the UK limiting how often debt collectors can contact people about overdue bills, unlike in the US where creditors are allowed to call debtors up to seven times in a week.

The report authors also want the national suicide prevention strategy’s update to be published urgently to better reflect the role of financial difficulty as a contributing factor.

Earlier this year warnings were issued regarding the physical impacts rising costs will have on the UK’s health.

Conducted by Sir Michael Marmot, the director of University College London’s Institute of Health Equity, and Prof Ian Sinha, a respiratory consultant at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, the report warned that the UK is facing a “significant humanitarian crisis” because of growing economic pressures, including fuel costs.

While the report didn’t quantify the numbers potentially affected by cold homes, it did state that there is “no doubt” there will be fatalities, poor mental health, and an increased risk of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses amongst children and young people.

Related: Cold homes will damage children’s health, report warns

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