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How does poverty affect your mental health?

  • 15/05/2017

“My financial problems have made me ill” - Kim

older lady

Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week. In light of this, we revealed that almost 1 in 5 people experience mental health problems as a result of their financial situation.

Unfortunately the relationship between mental health and money issues didn’t stop there. 86% say their financial situation makes their mental health worse and 72% say their mental health problems make their financial situation worse.

Have money worries affected your mental health?

To find out more how mental health and money are connected, we asked ‘Have money worries affected your mental health?’

Pensioner Linda Mitchell said: “I rent my home from a private landlord and every year he whacks up the rent. I live in constant fear of price rises. It makes me very low and anxious all the time.”

Hazel Wykes, from Birmingham, said: “[After bills and rent] there’s barely anything left over for food, there’s no money for any luxuries, clothing, holidays, dental fees or outings.

“I suffer with stress and depression, my mental health is becoming worse due to lack of money to eat properly, go out anywhere, buy food etc.”

Sheryl Odlum said: “Whilst on benefits I struggled to feed and clothe my family. We had been well off at one time and I had high expectations of myself. I was suffering with depression but it wore me out completely, leading to a breakdown and being hospitalised for three months.”

Elisabetha Dracul, a carer and single parent, said: “Having mental health issues myself, and having to deal with large amounts of debt… has made a bad situation even worse.”

Natalie Scott said: “My biggest worries every day are around money and debt.”

Rose Wilkinson, 65, added: “For the first time in my life I had to use a food bank.”

Nicola Brown, 57, said: “I get stressed and have severe money worries since the loss of my husband last June. I have heart disease and angina… I am stressed out and worried I will be forced into full time work which I know I couldn’t cope with.”

Kim Goddard said: “My financial problems have made me ill.”

Rose Kent added: “My husband is currently in a Psychiatric Ward because of the possibility his benefits would be taken off him.”

Ruthie Da Silva, who works with mental health patients, said: “Stress, anxiety, depression. As a single parent to three young children and working 28 hours a week, I rely on tax credits for childcare. [When these stopped for months last year it] nearly sent me over the edge.”

Rebecca Cooper-Helene said: “I was made redundant whilst pregnant after being left by a man who refused to take responsibility. I needed to claim benefits for the first time in my life after always being in well paid teaching jobs.

“I have now become self-employed… my mental health suffered tremendously and the stress to find money to feed my children and buy school uniform was horrible.

If you need help

Mental health issues

If you have mental health issues and need help, visit the Mind website or the Mental Health Foundation website for information and support.

Turn2us resources

If inflation, low wages, or the cost of your weekly shop has caused you financial stress, visit the Find Benefits and Grants page of our website to use our interactive tools to find financial help through benefits and/or grants.

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