Cost of living: the impact on our carers’ mental health

With almost one in two carers stating that the cost of living is having a negative effect on their mental health, we take a closer look and highlight the support that’s available

New findings from Surewise.com reveal that nearly one in two carers agree that the current economic crisis is negatively impacting their mental health, with 70% not confident that they’ll make it financially over the next year.

The survey of 2,709 UK adults aged 18 and over highlighted a common theme around money worries and financial insecurity. To save money, many carers are restricting daily essentials, such as food and heating, as well as cutting back on hobbies and leisure activities – all of which are taking a toll on their mental health. What’s more, mental health support for carers is lacking, with 73% feeling that their career itself is contributing to poor mental wellbeing at times.

Director of Surewise, Stuart Bensusan, notes that the lack of mental health provisions for carers has been brought to light “again and again,” but the cost of living means they are suffering “more than ever”.

“Despite the hard work and sacrifices that carers, both paid and unpaid, make every single day, it’s also clear that there is a fundamental failure to provide financial support for those working in this sector”, Stuart says.

Where can I find support as a carer?

It’s clear that more support is needed for our nation’s carers, both financially and emotionally. With 47% of carers believing that increasing their career benefits is the top priority, what other help is available?

Carers allowance – financially, you may be entitled to a carer’s allowance. This is additional income from the Government for those who care for someone at least 35 hours per week. Alongside this, you may be eligible for additional support including council tax reduction, pension credit, and grants and bursaries.

Unpaid carers – if you are an unpaid carer, you can find support at the Carers Trust.

Carer’s breaks and respite care – looking to take a wellbeing break? You can find more information about carer’s breaks and respite care on the NHS website, including getting assessed and the types of breaks available.

Young carers – find out about the support available for young carers, including getting help at school, making friends, and having a helping hand.

Counselling – if you’re able to afford it, counselling provides a safe space to focus on yourself, your needs, and to discuss your thoughts and feelings. You can find more information on counselling for carers on Counselling Directory or use the search bar below to find a qualified therapist near you or online.

Further help

Carers UK

Citizens Advice

Care Act factsheets

NHS: Social care and support guide

Counselling Directory – articles about Carer Support

You can view the survey results in full at Surewise.

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