A North East based mental health charity is calling for more action to help people with the rising cost of living, as the number of people accessing its crisis services with suicidal thoughts has doubled in 2022.
Mental Health Concern helps people who are experiencing mental health crisis, through its Together in a Crisis (TIAC) service. The charity is reporting that its TIAC services in Sunderland, South Tyneside, Northumberland, North Tyneside, and Newcastle upon Tyne have seen the number of people accessing crisis support increase by 30% since January.
The charity has also seen a 121% year-on-year rise in people with suicidal thoughts accessing the service. Many of these cases are linked to difficult financial situations, as more people struggle to pay their living costs.
Mental Health Concern continues to provide practical help, including setting up packages from food banks, as well as non-clinical emotional support for anyone experiencing distress. In light of the cost-of-living pressures, Mental Health Concern is teaming up with local organisations to host ‘Winter Pressure’ events in communities across Newcastle. These events will offer people dedicated advice and support to navigate the cost-of-living crisis, including guidance on council schemes, benefits, and financial support, as well as dedicated mental health support.
Adam Crampsie, Chief Executive of Mental Health Concern said:
“The latest figures from our Together in a Crisis services confirm the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on the health and wellbeing of our communities.
“Bills are set to increase as we move into the colder months and, as inflation continues to rise, many people’s financial situations will only get more difficult. This is especially true for lower earners in our community. This isn’t about tightening belts or ‘feeling the pinch’ – it is about people being forced into making impossible decisions daily.”
“Our team is working courageously to help provide the necessary support for those who need it, but we can only do so much. We need immediate action from the Government as soon as possible, to help ease the financial strains on our communities and prevent the situation from escalating any further.”
If anyone is struggling with their mental health, they can contact 0191 217 0377 or visit https://www.mentalhealthconcern.org/.