Cost of living causing mental health crisis in the North East
Mental Health Concern has reported the rise in mental health crisis.
North East based mental health charity, Mental Health Concern (MHC), have reported that one in three people are accessing their crisis service due to financial reasons..
They have seen a 36% increase in the past six months. They have concerns that the ongoing rising costs of living will continue to make the situation worse.
MHC helps to support people in the North East who are experiencing mental health crisis, through their Together in a Crisis service. There has been a 90% increase over all in referrals over the past six months.
The charity has reported that one in five people who access the service are experiencing suicidal thoughts which is a 196% increase on the previous six months. Many of those cases are directly linked to the rising cost of living. Case workers for MHC have found increased struggles due to financial worries, with many service users attempting suicide because of it.
One case worker from MHC reported that out of the 28 clients they work with, 25 are facing financial struggles, with 11 of those having tried to take their own life.
One service user told the charity “I have the weight of the world on my shoulders.” The service user had been advised by their GP to take time off work to take care of their mental health, but they could not afford to do so. Another has been working 80-90 hours a week, to afford to live.
In light of this, Mental Health Concern is calling for action to local businesses, VCSE’s and other organisations to help address the increasing pressure on its services. The charity is looking to partner with these organisations to work together and provide community support.
Adam Crampsie, Chief Executive of Mental Health Concern said: “We predicted last year that we would see an increase in demand for mental health support, and these figures reflect our biggest fears on the negative impact that rising costs are having on people’s health and wellbeing.
“We know that people in the lowest 20% income bracket in Britain are two to three times more likely to develop mental health problems than those in the highest. Our team is working around the clock to support people who are at their breaking point but only so much can be done on our own. Partnering with other organisations in our region will help us make sure nobody struggles alone, and we want to address this now before the challenges of winter make things even worse.”
MHC provides support and practical help, including setting up food packages from food banks, as well as non-clinical support for any experiencing distress in their lives.