Rising cost of living is causing a mental health crisis which is escalating

Rising cost of living is causing a mental health crisis which is escalating

Once again this week’s headlines have been dominated by the latest inflation figures (reached a 40 year high of 9%) and the cost of living crisis. As the nation and the media come to terms with the prospect of a recession, one crucial impact of the UK’s financial downturn has been overlooked – the imminent mental health crisis it is causing.

Recent data from Lifeworks Mental Health Index highlights the mental health crisis the UK is facing due to the current financial turmoil.

43% of Brits are feeling more sensitive to stress compared to before the pandemic, and Britons without emergency savings are 60% more likely to report the pandemic has negatively impacted their ongoing mental health.

As inflation and the rising cost of living continues to attack people’s emergency savings, financial anxiety will grow and UK’s mental health crisis will escalate.

Paula Allen, Global Leader and Senior Vice-President of Research and Total Wellbeing at LifeWorks said, “As the cost-of-living crisis continues, employees are facing increasing financial pressures. In turn, taking a toll on their mental health and wellbeing.

Energy, public transport, petrol and food is the highest it’s ever been in 13 years and whilst the obvious solution to ease financial worries would be to offer pay settlements in line with rising inflation rates, for many employers this is not possible and fails to address the root of mental health concerns for employees.

It’s understandable for employees to develop financial anxiety and if left unaddressed, this can manifest into feeling disengaged and demotivated by work.

However, employers should consider support packages in this period, such as financial wellbeing support, including educating employees on these rising costs or providing perks such as discounted food schemes. Lifestyle benefits like gym memberships and health insurance can also help protect employee mental health.

Also, by promoting flexible working opportunities, employees can cut on commuting costs. In fact, in our recent Mental Health Index, we found that 31% cent of Britons report that flexibility is the most important action taken by their employer to support their mental health.

In order to enable employees to feel comfortable highlighting financial concerns, especially when it impacts their performance and wellbeing – workplace culture needs to be a priority. By cultivating a culture of openness around money, employers can encourage open lines of communication and mitigate financial stress.”

Published at Thu, 26 May 2022 06:26:54 +0000

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