A charity has warned that the nation’s mental health has “failed to rebound after the pandemic” – with research suggesting the mental health of around three in 10 adults has deteriorated since the start of the year.
More adults said their mental health has worsened since the start of 2022, according to a YouGov A survey of rethinking mental illness.
It comes with an extension Psychological health The foundation said UK residents were experiencing “widespread” levels of stress, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness because of their financial circumstances.
Charities calling sooner Government Ahead of this week’s fall statement, including increasing benefits in line with inflation and investing in vital public services.
Some 29% of the 2,073 UK adults surveyed on October 27 and 28 said their mental health was now worse, with 21% saying it was better.
Of those whose mental health worsened, 20% said they had experienced suicidal thoughts, 21% said they had panic attacks, and 12% said they had experienced a crisis that required professional support.
Reported problems included low mood/feeling down (77%), feeling restless and/or restless (74%) and difficulty sleeping (60%).
Tom, who suffers from borderline personality disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, was forced to sign on to work this year after his mental health deteriorated.
The 31-year-old was worried about how to pay his bills and the war UkraineWith his family members in the armed forces.
He said: “I’ve struggled with mental illness in the past and over the years I’ve picked up tools to deal with it and have recovered well.
“But the constant stress and anxiety this year has put my mental health on shaky ground, derailing some of the good progress I’ve been making and putting me in a dark place.
“Looking ahead, I worry about the recession and the possibility that the government simply won’t make the investment in mental health that they need.
“I feel fortunate to have such wonderful support from my family, but I know many people find themselves in a similar boat as me.
“Things were supposed to get better after the pandemic but we find ourselves slipping backwards.”
Mark Winstanley, CEO of mental illness firm Rethink, said: “An end to pandemic restrictions has often been seen as a light at the end of the tunnel and there has been a lot of public speculation about the impact of lockdown.
“But this survey reveals that in the year we’ve been able to live our lives without restrictions, bubbles, or social distancing, people are more likely to report a decline in their mental health or stay the same than they are to report a meaningful improvement.”
Alarming numbers of people are reporting suicidal thoughts or reaching crisis point, Mr Winstanley said, adding: “It is just as essential that we focus on mental health during this cost of living crisis as we have done during the pandemic, if not more.”
Separate search for Mental Health Foundation It indicates that 10% of adults in the UK feel hopeless about their finances.
The survey, of 3,000 UK adults by Opinium between November 7 and 14, found that more than a third (34%) of respondents said they had felt anxious and 29% had been feeling stressed in the past month.
Survey respondents said they worried most about not being able to maintain their standard of living (71%), heat their homes (66%) or pay general monthly household bills (61%).
The CEO of the Mental Health Foundation, Mark Rowland, said the government should consider the mental health impact of all decisions affecting the cost of living crisis.
He said: “If people are struggling to meet their basic needs for a warm home and enough healthy food for their families, we can expect mental health problems to rise significantly as the burden of financial stress continues to take its toll.
“The challenge the country faces cannot be tackled easily. However, there are steps we can take to protect people’s mental health at this time.
We must support those at higher risk, for example, by increasing benefits in line with inflation and the obligation of employers to pay their employees a real living wage.
“Training frontline employees in Social Security and debt services how to recognize and sensitively respond to trauma experienced by the many people they work with can also help.”
A government spokesperson said: “As the Health Secretary has made clear today, mental health is paramount which is why investment in mental health services in England should be increased by at least £2.3 billion a year by 2024, supporting an additional 2 million people to gain access to The NHS funded mental health support they need.
“Last year we gave a further £500m to accelerate our plans to expand speech therapies and address waiting times, giving more people the support they need, while investing in the NHS workforce.”
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