Cost of living: the impact on children’s physical and mental health

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With almost one-quarter of parents of children under the age of 11 claiming that the cost of living has had a detrimental effect on their mental health, we take a further look and highlight some available support

Cost of living: the impact on children’s physical and mental health

Findings from a recent Save the Children/YouGov survey, covered by iNews show how rising living costs are impacting children in the UK physically and mentally. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of the parents surveyed say they are worried about their children’s mental health and one-fifth (17%) of those parents claim their children are suffering from physical health problems. Children living in households with an income of £30,000 or less are the worst affected, with 37% of parents saying their children’s mental health has been affected.

The online survey of 2,008 parents of children aged 11 and under highlighted some of the concerns parents are coming up against due to increased financial pressures. To cut back, parents are finding it difficult to keep up with days out and after-school clubs. And soaring household bills mean parents are buying cheaper food options with less variety. It also means families are living in colder, poorer conditions. This is negatively impacting the overall wellbeing of children; they are more likely to suffer from an increased number of colds and experience reduced sleep quality, for example.

The same survey revealed how parents are even turning down work or are being forced to cut working hours due to expensive childcare. Over half (54%) of mothers have cut their hours because they can’t afford to pay for childcare.

Becca Lyon, head of child poverty at Save the Children UK is calling on the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, to take action at tomorrow’s Spring Budget, urging the government to provide further support for struggling families.

“Parents are trying everything they can to put their children first, skipping their own meals, going without heating and their own essentials, but it’s clear families feel their young ones are suffering in such tough financial times.

“Jeremy Hunt should increase child-related benefits, alongside introducing childcare reforms that will support parents back into work.”

Finding financial support following a cancer diagnosis

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Over one million people living with cancer in the UK say this will be the ‘hardest year of their life’. If you’re worried about your finances, Macmillan Cancer Support is here for you

Finding financial support following a cancer diagnosis

The cost of living crisis is impacting many of us in some way or another, but for those living with cancer, this is an especially difficult time. Macmillan wants to raise awareness of the support that is available.

The latest data from leading cancer charity, Macmillan, reveals that 16% of people going through or recovering from cancer in the UK have had to sell their personal possessions or borrow money to get by. Almost one in three are struggling to pay their basic living costs, like food and energy. Even more worryingly, some people are resorting to unlicensed lenders such as loan sharks and, in extreme cases, are even at risk of being evicted from their homes.

In these desperate times, 39% of those going through or recovering from treatment are buying or eating less food and spending more time in bed to try and stay warm. These measures are putting their health and wellbeing at risk. What’s more, one in five feel that their current financial situation is not enough to see them through the economic crisis.

The rising costs we are all experiencing are in addition to the existing financial impact that a cancer diagnosis brings. Macmillan Cancer Support is calling for people to urgently access support, so what help is available?

Financial help

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is likely to change your financial situation. You may need to reduce your working hours or take more time off. Your expenditure may also rise as you accommodate hospital parking, transport, and bills such as heating to support your treatment.


You may be entitled to benefits or other financial support from the government. To learn more about what you may be eligible for, you can contact the Welfare Rights Advisors on the Macmillan Support Line.


Cancer treatment often means people are spending more time at home and are needing to up their heating use to keep warm during their treatment. If you’re struggling to pay your bills, Macmillan can advise on the grants available and help you navigate conversations with suppliers.

Macmillan Grants

For those on a low level of income and savings, Macmillan can offer grants. These are small, one-off payments to help people overcome extra costs. Macmillan Grants act as an extra bit of help, not a replacement for support, so they may affect the benefits that you are entitled to.

Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships at Macmillan Cancer Support, says, “We know that this is a very difficult time for many people and that it can be hard to make the first move in reaching out for support. It’s crucial that anyone who is feeling the pressure knows that we are here for them. We have specially trained teams on our Support Line who can offer confidential advice or simply provide a listening ear during this challenging time.”

Whether it’s benefits or emotional support, Macmillian is here for you. Get in touch by calling

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

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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

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

New findings from 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

Time to Talk Day: Let’s start a conversation

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This Time to Talk Day, we share the latest data from Mind that reveals the impact the rising cost of living is having on our mental health

Time to Talk Day: Let’s start a conversation

Today is Time to Talk Day, a campaign run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness in partnership with the Co-op. It is the nation’s biggest mental health conversation, which has been getting people talking about mental wellbeing since 2014.

This year, Mind is taking a look at the impact that the cost of living crisis is having on our mental health. Data from their latest poll of 5,236 people revealed that more than one in three (36%) adults in the UK aged 16 and over don’t make space in their day to discuss mental health. This reflects 19.6 million over 16s. Additionally, nearly eight in 10 (78%) of those surveyed said that the cost of living is affecting their mental wellbeing. This increases to 94% for those living with an existing mental health problem.

The data also worryingly reveals that almost one in five (18%) of those asked felt that the cost of living decreased how often they spoke about their mental health. Nearly half said the reason for this is that they didn’t want to burden others as many people are struggling right now. This, combined with the lasting effects of the pandemic, is having an impact on the nation’s mental wellness.

The current economic crisis is thought to hinder our ability to continue with the day-to-day ways we usually look after our mental health. For example, of the 18% who said that the cost of living decreased the time they spoke about mental health, one in four said that couldn’t afford social activities that help them stay mentally well. One in four also said they were having to work more hours to balance out the economic uncertainty, meaning they have less free time to socialise.

Most shockingly of all, 16% said they simply cannot afford to contact their support people to have these conversations (whether that’s over the phone, texting, or on social media) highlighting the effects of digital poverty. Mind’s data shows growing concerns that these numbers are set to get worse.

Campaigns like Time to Talk Day are helping by providing advice and resources to spark a conversation around mental health. It’s a vital way to help build supportive communities and open up more conversations about our mental wellbeing.

5 tips to take control of your finances‌‌

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Finance expert Davinia Tomlinson shares easy steps to help you manage your money‌‌

5 tips to take control of your finances‌‌

Anyone else counting the days until payday? The first payday after the holidays usually feels a long way off (especially if you got paid early in December), but some of us may be noticing it more than ever this year. As we head into the New Year, many of us like to take the chance to reset and embrace a fresh start, but worries about money and the cost of living can hold us back.

If you’re keen to get a handle on your finances in 2023, a great first step is to learn more about managing money so you can approach it in a simple and strategic way. To help us get started, finance expert Davinia Tomlinson, founder of Rainchq and author of Cash is Queen: A Girl’s Guide to Securing, Spending and Stashing Cash, shares five tips to help you take control of your financial future and live your best, most financially abundant life.

Whether you're just starting out or looking to improve your financial habits, understanding the basics of positive money management can help you feel reassured and put you back in the driving seat.‌‌

Learn to control your money mindset‌‌

Remember: you control your money, your money doesn’t control you. This is the key to transforming your relationship with money and establishing solid financial foundations that form the basis for how you live your life. Cultivating a healthy money mindset means that, in time, you will be making powerful financial decisions on autopilot. Start by keeping a daily money planner for a month and write down what you spend, when, why and with whom.

Next, reflect on how money makes you feel. Which words or thoughts come up consistently when you think about money and most importantly why? Do you feel excited? In control? Anxious? Whatever it is, write it down.‌‌‌‌

Lastly, look for patterns or clues in your behaviour. What do you notice about your money behaviour that makes you proud? Do certain people impact you positively or negatively? Is there a spike in spending after bad news? ‌‌‌‌

The only way to make a positive lasting change is to know your starting point, identify where you’d like to get to and take micro steps that you build on incrementally to achieve your target.

Understand the difference between what you make and what you keep

Being financially free is about understanding the difference between what you earn and what you keep. Keep track of your expenses and make sure you're spending less than you're earning. This will help you make informed decisions about what to do with any disposable income, including how much you can afford to save and invest for the future. Most people who achieve financial success aren’t simply those who ‘earn lots of money’. The most financially savvy are focused as much on what they earn as what they keep.

Deferred gratification ‌‌

It's easy to get caught up in the here and now and spend money on things we want but don't need. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional burst of spontaneity when it comes to our spending, if this becomes