• Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

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Mental Health Charity Partners with Local MPs to Help Tackle Cost of Living Increase

A leading North East mental health charity has teamed up with two regional MPs to call on the Government to do more to support the health and wellbeing of those most impacted by the rising cost of living.

Mental Health Concern, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, has teamed up with Kate Osborne, MP for Jarrow; and Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West to help put pressure on the Government to increase its level of support for those in the lowest income brackets.

The charity works across the region, providing mental health support through a range of project initiatives including social prescribing, peer support, and offering advice and help in times of crisis. It has seen a significant rise in cases of people struggling severely with their mental health, as a result of the cost-of-living increase.

A support worker in South Tyneside, spoke of a man who is considering giving up his council flat and living in a van, as he feels this will be cheaper than trying to pay his current bills.

Another worker reported that a service user, despite working full-time, is struggling to keep on top of their bills. This is severely affecting their mental health, as they can’t afford basic food. There are other service users, who are already receiving mental health support for existing conditions, who can’t attend their treatment sessions as they can’t afford the bus fare. The team at Mental Health Concern is adapting the way it works to provide resources such as food parcels and practical support, to ensure everyone receives the treatment that they need.

As well as the measures that Mental Health Concern is taking amongst the communities most impacted by the rising costs of living, the charity is also teaming up with MPs to ensure more is done to support those most vulnerable, including the use of specific cases to put pressure on the Government.

Adam Crampsie, Chief Executive of Mental Health Concern said: “We know people in the lowest 20% income bracket in Britain are two to three times more likely to develop mental health problems than those in the highest. In the face of what the Office for Budget Responsibility calls the biggest hit to household finances since comparable records began, the Chancellor has done nothing more for those dependent on benefits, the very poorest.

From April, one-third of all households will be unable to afford life’s essentials. This Government’s plans are woefully out of touch with the reality facing millions of families. I am so worried about how this cost-of-living crisis is going to escalate and the impact of people’s health and wellbeing.

Our team is working around the clock to support people who are at breaking point, but there is only so much we can do on our own. I am so pleased to have the backing of MPs Kate Osborne and Sharon Hodgson in calling for the Government to do more for our country’s most vulnerable people.”

Kate Osborne, MP for Jarrow, said: “The cost-of-living crisis is causing people huge amounts of worry, with energy prices and food costs at the forefront of people’s anxieties.

I met with Adam Crampsie recently to discuss the work charities like Mental Health Concern are doing in offering integrated mental health support to people who are struggling with the impact and pressures of the cost-of-living. It is so important that more is done to protect and support the most vulnerable in our society.”

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, said: “”Serious concerns about the trajectory of effects of the cost of living crisis for vulnerable people must be taken seriously. When it should be helping people pay their bills, this Government is hitting people with a cut to UC, workers with a tax rise and allowing families to face the desperate choice between heating or eating.

The work done by organisations like Mental Health Concern to help those in crisis receive immediate care and help them rebuild their lives with security and respect is so important, but I worry that their job will only become harder.”

By admin