Link between poverty and mental health highlighted for World Mental Health Day



On World Mental Health Day, the 10th October, national poverty charity Turn2us is warning that many people who are finding it hard to make ends meet are struggling with their mental health too.

The charity says money worries are often intrinsically linked to mental health problems. Thirty percent  of people seeking the charity’s help last year said that they or their family have experienced stress and/or mental health problems as a result of their financial situation.

Turn2us is also warning mental health problems can in turn impact on a person’s ability to earn money. With the theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day being ‘Mental health in the workplace’, Turn2us is calling for better understanding of how poor mental health can impact on a person’s ability to work.

Turn2us says that this can become a downward spiral as someone struggling with their mental health, who is unable to work and receiving welfare benefits, may also be vulnerable to sanctions as they might find it hard to meet the requirements of a benefit such as attending a mandatory interview or participating in a ‘work related activity’.

Outlining the charity’s concerns about the connection between mental health and poverty, Simon Hopkins, chief executive of Turn2us, said:

“People that come to us are very distressed about their financial situation. We have long been aware of how mental health problems can not only lead to someone struggling to make ends meet, but how they can be caused by financial problems. It is therefore crucial that anyone struggling financially or with their mental health seeks help as soon as they realise that they have a problem.”