Northern Ireland

One in three surveyed in Northern Ireland say finances make their mental health worse

35% of people admit their finances have had a negative impact on their mental health

Councils in England have a major funding gap in trying to meet their duties to help local young people facing homelessness, a charity said
(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

More than one in three people say that their mental health has been negatively impacted by their financial situation, a report has shown.

The latest report, published by the Consumer Council, revealed that 35% of people who took part in the survey felt their finances had negatively impacted their mental health.

The impact of the cost of living crisis on mental health was one of the areas highlighted by the latest ‘Pulse Survey’ conducted by the body, which covers the period between December 2023 and February 2024.

The series of surveys are published every quarter, gathering consumer perceptions and experiences of the cost of living crisis in Northern Ireland.

This past quarter, more people felt that their household couldn’t keep up with bills and buy essentials (13%), up from 10% noted in December 2023.

The report also revealed that 1 in 5 people had £50 or less left to spend after mortgage/rent and essential bills had been paid.

These figures come despite news last month that the average pay packet in Northern Ireland grew by 6.8% over the past year, according to HMRC.

In addition, the report provided an insight into changes people were making to improve financial position.

Most notably, nearly 1 in 2 people (45%) admitted to cooking more at home and eating out less in a bid to save money.

It also noted that while 46% of those surveyed felt their household was worse off than 12 months ago, this figure was down when compared with December (53%).