Nearly a third of the population say they feel more depressed about rising living costs than they did six months ago, a Sky News poll could reveal.
As households face increasingly tight budgets and with the government under increasing pressure to tackle Britain’s worsening cost of living crisis, we asked people how the crisis affected them and their families.
Just over 60% of people told us they felt more worried than they did six months ago, and almost a third told us they were more angry.
Warning: This story contains references to suicide
Millions of Britons are now struggling as prices rise, exacerbated by rising energy costs and record high inflation.
And with the average price of a full tank of petrol over £ 100 for the first time and food bills rise, millions of people face a painful decision whether to pay for fuel to heat their homes or buy food to feed their families.
In a poll suggesting the crisis could have a serious impact on some people’s mental health, nearly a third told us they feel more depressed now.
And one in five people said the increase cost of living affected their sleep.
With the wholesale price of gas in January 2022 almost four times higher than in early 2021, almost half (48%) of the people we ask said they had turned down the heat in their homes.
A third of people told us that they socialized less.
Meanwhile, four out of 10 respondents say they have switched to buying cheaper brands or using cheaper stores to cut back.
‘I can no longer bear the cost of living’
Mental health charities have reported an increase in demand for their services from people who say they are struggling to cope with the increase in the cost of living.
Susan Lopez, 42, is a full-time caregiver, but her pay is low and hours are uncertain. She is struggling with the rising cost of living, and after all her bills are paid, she only has a few pounds to live on, she said.
“I work all the hours I can and I should be able to afford to live, but I can not,” she said.
Susan lives alone and she says her mental health has steadily deteriorated over the last six months.
“It’s so hard to have to get up every day and take on a brave face when everything I do inside falls apart,” she said.
“I do not want to be here anymore. I’ve had enough of life, I can not afford the cost of living anymore. It’s just too expensive.
“I’ve thought about suicide quite a few times. It’s gotten so bad.”
‘If we do not see funding increase in line with demand … then people will die’
One-fifth of low-income people are up to three times more likely to develop mental health problems than richer families, according to Adam Crampsie, CEO of Mental Health Concern, a charity that provides support to people on behalf of the NHS.
“We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people coming to our crisis services and seeking emergency assistance as a result of the cost of living crisis,” he said.
“We deliver things at grassroots level, on the street, to people who actually need that help today.
“And unfortunately it takes a long time before public funds reach us, if at all.
“If we do not see funding increase in line with the demand from people’s access to our services and how complex these people are, then people will die,” he said.
The government says it is providing a package of measures designed to alleviate the pain caused by the cost of living.
A spokesman told Sky News: “We recognize the pressure people are facing with the rising cost of living and we are taking steps to support households – giving eight million of the most vulnerable households extra support this year and all household electricity customers will receive at least DKK 400.
“Mental health care will see a further GBP 2.3 billion in additional funding per year in 2023/24 – which supports a further two million people in the UK – and we have launched a call for evidence to hear from the public on what they want to do. look at our 10-year mental health plan. “
If you have been affected by this story and would like to speak with someone, you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123 or send an email to email@example.com.