Home Mental Health & Well-Being Calm Reveals Half of UK Experiencing Decline in Mental Health Due to Cost of Living

Calm Reveals Half of UK Experiencing Decline in Mental Health Due to Cost of Living

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According to recent data, the cost-of-living crisis has a negative impact on the mental health of almost half (47%) of Brits. The research commissioned by suicide prevention charity, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), and the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation (IFCF) comes as the UK marks Mental Health Awareness Week (13th–19th May 2024). 

The survey of 2,000 people found almost half (49%) of people in the UK have struggled with their mental health at some point in their lives, and 56% of people have been affected by suicide. This includes people who have experienced suicidal thoughts, lost someone to suicide or someone in their community has been impacted. 

Worryingly, a fifth of people (20%) didn’t feel like they had anyone to speak to if they were struggling with their mental well-being. That’s why CALM and IFCF have partnered on a new campaign to help people ‘Break the Ice’ on mental health and suicide and kick-start five million life-saving conversations – one for each of Iceland’s weekly customers. 

With the cost-of-living crisis taking its toll on the nation’s mental health, this partnership will help break down the stigma, and provide people with the tools to reach out and support those around them. Research showed the positive impact this can have. Of the people who spoke to someone about their struggles, a third (33%) felt more supported, 25% felt like a weight had been lifted off their shoulders after opening up and a quarter (25%) felt more able to cope. 

Tragically, data shows that every 90 minutes on average in the UK, someone dies of suicide. But, suicide can be prevented with the right support and interventions. These include helping people spot the signs that someone is struggling and supporting people to have conversations about mental health and suicide to help smash the silence and stigma that prevent people from seeking help.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, CALM and the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation are taking the urgent issue of suicide prevention to the British roads with a co-branded Iceland Foods articulated lorry and van, encouraging customers to “break the ice” and learn how to start life-saving conversations about suicide and mental health. In addition, to support the partnership, Iceland and Food Warehouse colleagues are taking on a number of fundraising challenges in a bid to raise £300,000. This important funding could help CALM have more than 37,000 life-saving conversations on its suicide prevention helpline. 

Simon Gunning, CEO of the Campaign Against Living Miserably, said: “The implications of the cost-of-living crisis are crystal clear and more and more people are struggling with their mental health as a result of it. But what we are seeing is that people are beginning to open up to loved ones and have those much-needed conversations.

“Our partnership with the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation is focused on breaking the silence around suicide and bringing hope and life-saving conservation to the high street. Our research today demonstrates once again just how important a lifeline CALM is for so many people right now.” 

Tarsem Dhaliwal, group chief executive of Iceland Foods and Trustee of Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation, said: “We are incredibly proud to be continuing to develop our partnership with CALM this Mental Health Awareness Week to raise awareness to our customers and colleagues and help to end the stigma around suicide by empowering them to have life-saving conversations.  

“The latest research shows how mental health is one of the most prominent issues in the UK, with the cost of living only exacerbating this. At Iceland, we are doing everything we can to support our customers and colleagues, from increasing our £1 meal offering, to partnering with charities like CALM to tackle the issues that matter most.” 

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