The focus of the week is that debt can happen to anyone, and in the midst of a financial and cost-of-living crisis, we know this to be an extremely harrowing reality. Families are struggling to pay their household energy and food bills, fuel costs have increased, and council tax, mortgage, and rental rates have increased significantly.
People are finding themselves faced with unmanageable payments and spiralling into debt and then of course the cycle continues without being provided with or accessing relief or support.
In May 2022, 7 million low-income households were going without at least one essential (such as a warm home, enough food, appropriate clothing or basic toiletries) and over 2 million families were neither eating properly nor heating their home adequately according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
With debt and financial crisis comes great impact. All households are seeing a huge rise in costs for most things, and this is bound to impact both emotionally and physically upon a person or family’s well-being and physical health. Education professionals are continuing to see an increase in child mental health issues and are still working hard to combat the impact from the covid-19 pandemic. Services are strained and waiting lists for support continue to grow.
According to Barnardos ‘At what cost? The impact of the cost-of-living crisis on children and young people report’, “more than 1 in 4 of all children in the UK now live in poverty, with millions facing the risk of going hungry. Living in poverty can mean a child is living in a cold home, going hungry, or without everyday essentials.”
A new poll of parents of children aged 18 and under in Great Britain by YouGov conducted for this report found that:
Young Minds have also completed some research to understand the impact on children and young people and their well-being in August 2022. They found that:
Debt and money worries can have a significant impact on a person’s well-being and physical and mental health. A person may feel overwhelming stress, struggle to sleep, feel anxious or depressed, and triggered by small tasks or worries. It is also important to consider that for those who already experience mental ill health, debt and financial worries could be a build-up where the person may not be working to gain an income, or maybe they’re avoiding bills so debts are rapidly increasing, or they may not feel able to cope with the additional pressures of the cost of living. Those who are parents and carers could feel additional stress given the additional responsibility of their dependents.
Gambling can also bring about further debt or financial worries. We have seen an increase in young people also taking part in gambling activities. The Gambling Commission estimated that “around 1.7% of young people aged 11-16 could already be classed as ‘problem gamblers’ – that could be as many as 55,000 young people across England, Scotland and Wales, and a further 2.7% could be at risk of developing gambling problems if we don’t make some changes.”
Tips for accessing support as an adult:
Further information and support services:
Citizen’s Advice- https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/get-help-with-the-cost-of-living/
Young Minds- https://www.youngminds.org.uk/parent/parents-a-z-mental-health-guide/money-and-mental-health/