Experts voice mental health concerns as cost-of-living crisis deepens

Suffolk experts say the cost-of-living squeeze could soon cause a mental health crisis as well

Suffolk experts say the cost-of-living squeeze could soon cause a mental health crisis as well - Credit: ARCHANT

Experts have spoken of their worries that the cost-of-living squeeze could soon cause a mental health crisis as well.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics showed people suffered the biggest fall in their real pay for nearly nine years in the three months to February.

Yesterday this newspaper launched its Your Money Matters campaign to do what we can to help readers through what will be a tough few months.

Now charity bosses have voiced their fears that the growing cost-of-living squeeze could cause a mental health crisis too.

Nicky Willshere, chief executive of Citizens Advice in Ipswich, said: "I'm really concerned about the pressures it can put on people's mental health and the pressures that it puts on family life and when they're worried about these sorts of these sorts of problems.

Citizens Advice Ipswich chief Nicky willshere has shared advice on shopping safely Picture: LUCY TA

Citizens Advice Ipswich chief executive Nicky Willshere - Credit: Lucy Taylor

"For crying out loud ask for help. There might not be an awful lot of help there, but a problem shared is a problem halved.

"And of course the impact of the mental health problems it can cause – stress and far more drastic things.

"We don't want people getting themselves into a state because they're trying to deal with it themselves.

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"We can support them with what we can, we can talk to their creditors for them if they are too worried and put things in place to prevent things from getting worse."

Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind, said: “There is no doubt that pressures on the cost of living are going to lead to people feeling like they are less in control of their personal finances and feeling less secure about their personal situation.

Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind

Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

“Reaching out to organisations that offer support can enable people to get to grips with their finances and explore all the options available to them.

"When we feel safe and more in control, we are calm and feel able to look forward and make plans for the future.”

If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust's First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week.  

For help with money matters can also speak to your local Citizens Advice centre on 0800 0683131, if you specifically want help with debts you can reach a local debt centre on 0800 3280006.