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How is Teenagers Mental Health Affected by Cost of Living Crisis?

Over half of young people (56%) are worried about the rising cost of living, with most of them stating that their daily lives have been disrupted by the issue. The ones ages between 20 and 25 years old, also said that they are often or always concerned about earning enough to support themselves. It’s important to talk about how people sometimes feel, especially when it comes to difficult situations, such as the rising cost of living. It’s normal, and it doesn’t mean that they are sick. However, if they continue to feel this way for a long time, it could lead to mental health issues. Especially young people may become isolated due to their worries about money or their inability to spend time with their friends or family. This could negatively affect their mental health. Although it’s not always possible to predict a young person's mental health, research has shown that certain experiences, such as poverty and social inequality, can affect their development.


Having money problems can have a negative impact on a young person's mental health?


It can trigger panic attacks and anxiety, as well as depression and loneliness due to not being able to afford essential needs such as food, shelter, and medication. Other issues such as lack of sleep and social isolation can also result from not having enough money to do what they enjoy.

Young people with mental health problems may feel that they can’t manage their finances or that they are incapable of making decisions. They may also act impulsively and spend too much. In addition, they may be less able to work or study due to their condition.


How to deal with it?


Financial concerns and conversations about money should be age-appropriate, and should reflect your family's situation. Try to explain the impact of rising costs on the price of certain items, such as a phone contract or a rent payment, to children as they can understand. You can use resources such as the Beano Financial Literacy books or BBC Newsround for children. Older kids can also learn about money by watching or reading the news with their parents. Finally, a parent and a specialist have stated the followings:



"Help them understand the difference between want and need, and that even what we need might be acquired by making, recycling, swapping or buying second hand". Zoe, parent.

"Ask your child what they think is going on… and correct their interpretation if necessary. Ask for their ideas about solutions. This teaches that talking and problem solving is the best way to manage difficulties rather than worrying and staying silent". Jane, psychotherapist.

Do not hesitate to ask for help.


Having a reassuring presence can help children feel less stressed and more comfortable when they are experiencing a difficult time. Being honest about what's happening can be helpful, but it's also important to be able to show them that it's normal to feel sad or worried. One way to reduce anxiety is to try and convince them that you are looking into ways to improve their finances and tackle the financial difficulties.


Young adults may be financially independent, but they may also be living away from home. If they're struggling with the rising cost of living, you may feel uneasy talking to them about money, or you may not know how to approach this issue. If your child is struggling with financial problems, talk to them about it. You can help them find solutions and listen to their concerns. Furthermore, having a budget can help them keep track of their expenses and develop a strategy for addressing them. Young adults and older teenagers can also start writing down what is going on in their finances each month. Being able to ask for help can be hard, but it's also a sign of strength. Being able to reach out to others can help alleviate some of the feelings of isolation and hopelessness that you or your child might be experiencing. Having a written budget can help you keep track of your finances and make it easier to talk to organizations that can help.



Lastly, Dr. Williams added: “Government and other authorities need to find ways to channel more resources and supports to those most socially and economically vulnerable because this will have knock on effects for health, and only serve to widen health inequalities. The fact we are going through a global pandemic has only made matters worse. People have been through two years of anxiety and sacrifice. Uncertainty is a key factor in anxiety and chronic stress related to financial worries can have significant impacts on mental and physical health over time. However, there is some cause for hope. Some people, although generally not those most vulnerable, reported how the experience of living through a pandemic had made them feel more ‘resilient’, and some planned to continue the healthy, cost-effective habits like home cooking or home workouts that they had taken up during Covid-19. Some felt as though communities had learned to pull together during the pandemic and could do so again for the cost of living crisis.”

Jane, psychotherapist

Zoe, parent



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