Mental distress can be significantly impacted by a cost of living crisis. The below offers some of the reasons there is a direct link between the two, in order to shed some insight into the mental health difficulties you or your loved ones may be facing.
1. Financial strain: High living costs can lead to financial stress and the inability to afford basic necessities such as housing, food, and healthcare. This can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
2. Insecurity and uncertainty: A cost of living crisis may result in job loss, increased unemployment rates, or unstable employment. This creates a sense of insecurity and uncertainty about the future, leading to heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
3. Housing instability: Rising housing costs can make it difficult to afford stable housing, leading to increased homelessness and housing insecurity. The lack of stable and affordable housing can have a significant impact on mental well-being, contributing to feelings of hopelessness, stress, and despair.
4. Limited access to healthcare: High living costs can make healthcare services unaffordable or inaccessible for many individuals. This can prevent people from accessing the mental health support they need, exacerbating symptoms of mental distress.
5. Increased social inequality: A cost of living crisis can widen the gap between the wealthy and the less fortunate, leading to increased social inequality. This can contribute to feelings of injustice, resentment, and discontent, leading to mental distress.
6. Impact on quality of life: The financial strain caused by a cost of living crisis can limit opportunities for leisure, recreation, and personal fulfillment. This can lead to feelings of frustration, sadness, and a decreased sense of overall well-being.
7. Stigma and shame: Individuals experiencing mental distress due to a cost of living crisis may face social stigma and shame, which can further hinder their ability to seek help and support.
Addressing the cost of living crisis is crucial for mitigating its impact on mental distress. Efforts should be made to increase affordable housing options, improve access to mental health services, provide financial support to those in need, and promote social and economic policies that address inequalities. Additionally, community support, awareness, and destigmatization of mental health issues can help create a conducive environment for seeking help and support.