We’ve launched a series of roundtable meetings to help us further understand the impact of the cost of living crisis on mental health.

The online and in-person sessions will also explore the role of counselling and psychotherapy in the financial downturn and how the skills of our members support the nation during this intensely challenging period.

These events are part of our new Understanding the cost of living impact campaign.

They’ll help us gather evidence and insight for a final report that will be launched next year to politicians, funders, organisations, members and the public.

Strengthen political support

This campaign will also help us to strengthen political support for counselling and psychotherapy as we move towards a General Election in 2024 in England, and our continuing work to influence mental health policy in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We’ve also asked our members about the impact of cost of living on mental health to gain their perspectives through an annual survey we carry out to support our work in the media.  We understand you are affected too and this important evidence from members, will also inform our final report and recommendations.

We know there is not a single solution for tackling the mental health impact of the cost of living crisis.

Greater focus

Alongside actions that tackle the root causes of communities’ and individuals’ financial difficulties, we need to see a greater focus on addressing inequalities which result in poorer mental health, as well as increased access to free and affordable therapy.

Our CEO Anna Daroy said: “The cost of living crisis will have a profoundly damaging and long-lasting effect on the mental health of the nation. It has widened health inequalities in the UK, already laid bare by the legacy of the COIVD-19 pandemic. It poses a significant risk to already vulnerable sections of the population and an increased demand for therapeutic support.

“By bringing a range of voices and expertise together in these roundtables we will be able to explore these complex and nuanced issues in greater detail. Our findings will help emphasise the value counselling and psychotherapy has in supporting public mental health and aim to influence Government policy and drive meaningful change.

“Investing in interventions such as counselling and psychotherapy has never been more important if we are to tackle the growing distress amongst those communities impacted by the current financial situation and making therapy accessible to all.”

Different themes

Each of the six roundtable meetings will have a different theme. Topics will be: rural communities, policy solutions, employees’ mental health, third sector, children and young people, and mental health solutions.

The first session takes place on 6 September, exploring the mental health impacts of the cost of living crisis on rural communities.

Invited guests include: service providers, charities, rural stakeholder organisations, leading academics,  and policy makers to explore the topic at this online event.

Demand for therapy

The sessions will explore the extent of which therapy can be used to support people through the cost of living crisis, the change in demand for therapy in the past few years, the groups and communities who’ve had their mental health most impacted by the cost of living crisis, and the impact of this on our members.

They will also look at where support needs to be targeted, the effectiveness of current mental health and suicide prevention strategies and what can governments across the UK do to improve mental health.

We’ll keep our members updated on the progress of the campaign throughout and share the final report when it is published online in 2024.

A text only version of the infographic is also available.