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Impact of the Cost of Living Crisis on student mental health – Healthwatch Camden

In this blog, Ray Sadoun from Ok Rehab, writes about the growing health pressures for students due to the rising cost of living. Ok Rehab is an organisation that helps young adults affected by drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental health issues.

If you were once a university student, you will know all too well the struggle of balancing academic life with socialising, all while trying to stay afloat financially. It is no easy feat, and it has perhaps never been harder than right now, with the cost of living rising dramatically.

Students are forking out £924 a month on essentials such as rent (£418), groceries (£116), bills (£64), transport (£54), health and wellbeing (£20), and course material (£17). The rise in cost of all of these essentials is having a negative impact on students’ mental health, with two-thirds being ‘extremely worried’ about the cost-of-living crisis.

Ok Rehab have designed this infographic to shine a light on the current financial and emotional situations for students in the UK. As you will see, the vast majority of students are in a precarious situation, and not all of them can rely on their parents to get them out of it.

We are particularly determined to prevent addiction from accelerating in the UK, but this is unfortunately likely to happen when individuals cannot afford to make ends meet. Anxiety is a common factor in the development of addiction, but the end result is often even more anxiety caused by the substance, e.g., alcohol.

Until the situation changes, students will continue to rely on the coping mechanisms outlined in the infographic, which include: working, borrowing from loved ones, accessing grants, using credit cards, and earning money through social media.

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