Cost of Living

The rising cost of living is having a damaging impact on mental health

This year has been filled with anxiety for many. With consumer inflation at over 9% across the island, the cost of living has soared throughout 2022.

Rising prices having a damaging impact on mental health

A recent study suggests:

  • 51% of Irish employees are worried about money
  • 71% of Irish employees say that the rising cost of living is the main source of stress and anxiety

Inspire’s own findings show:

  • 79% of adults experienced a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing caused by the current increases in the cost of living
  • 83% of workers experienced a negative impact on their mental health attributable to the rising cost of living

It’s undeniable that people will have difficulty, and some will find it impossible, to do the things that keep them well over the next year.

Help to release pressure caused by rising cost of living

The rising cost of living is putting us all under enormous pressure. We need to release this pressure, for the sake of our lives, our families and our communities. So, what can you do to preserve and protect your mental wellbeing during this difficult period. Some positive steps include:

  • Building the 5 Steps to Wellbeing into our daily routines.
  • Reaching out to get all the support that is available to you
  • Ensuring that you are getting your information from sources you can trust and that you don’t allow yourself to become fixated on things you cannot control

Supporting financial wellbeing in the workplace

Financial distress can occur when worries about finances impact on a person’s overall wellbeing. One way to reduce this distress in your workplace is to improve your organisation’s approach to financial wellbeing. Financial wellbeing considers a person’s:

  • objective financial status – how much they earn, own and owe
  • subjective financial status – how they feel about their finances and any financial worries they may have
  • financial knowledge and attitude – how much they know and understand about credit, risk and budgeting
  • financial behaviour – how they manage the financial aspects of their lives

The people in a workplace are not homogenous. Everyone will have their own attitudes and concerns around finance, but a workplace that places value on financial wellbeing can work to understand the issues facing people within the organisation and develop initiatives to prioritise financial wellbeing – whether that’s ensuring a fair salary to ease immediate financial concerns or providing access to financial advice as part of a wellbeing package that looks to the person’s future.

Employers should be aware of the stress we’re all experiencing and make sure that people are regularly reminded of the financial and mental health services that are included as part of their benefits package.