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First published:
13/02/2019

Top Tips

Being a carer can affect your mental health and money

Mental Health and Money Advice support carers who struggle both financially and mentally. We conducted a survey to find out how widespread this issue is and what is causing more carers to be affected by poor mental health and financial strain.

Mental health affected by caring for others

73% of the 400 carers surveyed told Mental Health and Money Advice that they had developed a mental health problem as a result of caring for someone – while 36% acknowledged that both their mental and physical health had been affected.

In addition, 84% have seen their personal relationships with friends/partners become more strained since becoming a carer.

Stress caused by money worries

70% of carers identified money worries as a source of stress. When caring for someone 54% said that their petrol costs were higher as they are the primary form of transport, while 28% pay rent and bills for the person they care for.

These increased costs have meant that 32%of carers have struggled on at least one occasion to pay an essential bill.

Mental health and financial problems are often closely linked. Concerns about money commonly cause increased stress and worry which, if left untreated, can develop into mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

When combined, these issues can create a worrying cycle that can lead to problems with relationships, work and housing.
Carers of those with mental health problems are more at risk of developing mental health problems themselves, and therefore also at risk of financial problems.

How becoming my wife’s carer impacted me financially and mentally

Paul had been married to his wife, Julie, for five years when she received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Find out how becoming his wife’s carer has impacted their lives financially and what they have done to turn this around.

What help is there for mental health carers?

Whilst there are specific benefits like the Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Premium and Income Support/Universal Credit available, 33% of people said that they did not feel that it was worth the stress to apply, while 25% said that they had applied in the past and been rejected.

Alarmingly 29% of carers said they wouldn’t know where to find support if they needed it.

This survey highlights the difficulty mental health carers are finding themselves in; they want to help support the people they love, but that often comes at a cost to themselves, both financially and to their mental health.

Carers clearly need the correct support, and we recommend they read the following sections to support their own mental health and wellbeing:

Top tips and advice

  1. Why the Mental Health and Money Advice service is helping people with mental illness and money issues
  2. What to do if money worries are affecting your mental health
  3. Blue Badges available for people suffering from mental illness
  4. Five top tips for managing your spending this Black Friday
  5. Budget 2018: How does it affect you?
  6. What the 2018 PIP ruling means for those living with mental health issues
  7. Mental health and Money Advice responds to Goverment’s proposed Breathing Space scheme
  8. Mental health and financial services podcast
  9. Being a carer can affect your mental health and money
  10. What to do when debt worries impact on performance at work

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