Mental health issues don’t pause for Christmas

Mental health issues don’t pause for Christmas

Your support could potentially save a life this December

The COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine have contributed significantly to global inflation throughout 2022, driving up the price of food, energy bills, and other basics, and as a result, many will find themselves struggling this Christmas to feed their families, and some will experience the reality of fuel poverty. According to the Welsh Government, a household is living in fuel poverty if they are unable to keep their home warm at a reasonable cost. In Wales, this is measured as any household that would have to spend more than 10% of their income on maintaining a satisfactory heating regime.

According to a growing number of GPs across the UK, this cost-of-living crisis is increasingly affecting people's mental and physical health – and many GPs report that they are now receiving patients with mental health issues who cannot access affordable therapy. One GP stated that some people were coming to her initially because of mental illness or other medical problems but digging deeper, it was transpiring that a lot of their issues were rooted in the stress around cost of living and paying bills and associated debt. She went on to say that when some patients come in, they can express a mixture of anger, frustration, depression, and helplessness, and as a result she was now really fearful about what's going to happen moving forward if and when there are further hikes in energy prices.

Several surveys have also recently concluded that men notoriously are less likely to seek help or book doctor's appointments, something that can be attributed to a pressure not to acknowledge a need for help. Men in general don't want to admit to themselves that it's the pressure of life that's getting to them and instead end up looking for antidepressants or sedatives to help them cope with the pressure. One GP recently spoke of a patient, who was self-employed, who came in to see him with self-inflicted facial wounds after an unpaid bill had tipped him over the edge.

Sadly, many men wrongly believe that it’s weak to admit they are struggling and that they just need to be more resilient, but all that ends up doing is saying, well it's not society, it's not external problems, it's because you are not resilient enough. The result is that many men then simply try to internalise some of the turmoil and refuse to reach out for help.

As Britain faces its biggest cost of living crisis in decades, and as more people struggle with energy problems and fear not having enough money to make ends meet, please help us signpost vulnerable men to vital mental health support services that could prevent their mental health condition from escalating into something more serious.

This Christmas, please make a donation, and help us ensure that the mental effects of fuel poverty don’t get overlooked.

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