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Miricyl: Financial insecurity and mental health

  • 17/05/2022
  • Author:Talulah.Kingston@turn2us.org.uk

Miricyl are focused on improving access and availability of mental health resources and services to children and young people.

At Miricyl, we are focused on improving access and availability of mental health resources and services to children and young people. Through our three focal points of education, treatment matching, and self-care, we are enabling people to take charge of their mental health, and to be able to access the resources that they need in order to start their path to a greater wellbeing.

On a backdrop of the global pandemic, our focus on mental health and wellbeing comes at a time when current waiting lists for services range from months to years. Despite this, only 80% of young people, in particular those with a diagnosable mental illness, receive secondary care at all.

Of those people on a waiting list or those simply left out in the cold, the majority are given no support and do not know what other resources are available. If you google search ‘Panic attack’ the charity No Panic does not appear in the first three pages despite being one of many great resources for this branch of mental health. We want to change this and promote the right solutions on our front page.

Miricyl are here to bridge the gap between demand and availability. We want to continue on with the aim of reaching a wider network of people to support them through their mental health journey.

One such journey that is only increasing in severity, can involve the relationship between financial insecurity and mental health. For example, people in debt are three times more likely to be affected by mental health than people not in debt.

Individuals experiencing mental health issues can find themselves struggling financially as a result of lacking motivation, confusion or overspending as a result of their condition. This relationship is not simply a one-way street. Financial anxieties can often result in a decrease in mental health, which for those already suffering, can result in a cycle of financial anxiety that can trigger episodes and reduce recovery times drastically.

 A rising cost of living

The current cost-of-living crisis, where inflation has reached its highest level since 1992 and household energy bills are increasing at a record pace, means individuals struggling with mental health issues are only going to be impacted more severely in such a climate. Recent OECD research has already uncovered that the mental health of individuals coping with financial insecurity post March 2020 was far worse than the general population average.

Providing the relevant resources to help alleviate, and educate, individuals experiencing mental health issues as a result of financial insecurity, is a key concern of our mission. Turn2us, Mind, and many more charities focussed on financial hardship can be helpful for providing information and resources to those finding themselves mentally unable to cope due to money problems.

As well as providing this signposting website, over the past five years Miricyl has investigated and then campaigned for more equitable funding of mental health research for young people. This we believe resulted in UK Research and Innovation announcing £35m of new funding for young people’s mental health and equality reviews of c.£175m of health research funding in Scotland and Wales.

Miricyl mental health resource search tool

From 2020, Miricyl started to develop digital solutions for young people’s mental health as a scalable solution to a growing problem. Our primary findings told us that we needed a signposting tool to the best UK national services that we could find. So that is what we created.

On our tool, we list over 100 different charities and their 250+ services, from helplines to directories of local services to benefits calculators such as that produced by Turn2us. This allows users to find support, specifically tailored to the needs specified initially by the user.

From mental health issues like anxiety, to relationship issues and bereavement, we list the national charities that we have found most suitable to helping with people’s mental health and wellbeing.

If you or someone you know needs support with their mental health, you can visit our website and signposting tool to find more specific, and often local, support.

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