Financial issues fuelling mental health crisis, Covid-19 study reveals

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the health of people living in the UK, a major study on the nation’s physical and mental wellbeing has revealed.

The research, published by life and pensions insurance provider LV=, adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting a long-term health impact.

According to the survey of 4,000 customers, the lockdown has benefitted the physical health of some participants, with a third (34 per cent) exercising more and a similar number (30 per cent) eating and drinking more healthily.

However, some 44 per cent of participants – rising to 50 per cent among women – report feeling “more stressed and anxious than normal”.

This is largely due to people experiencing financial issues as a result of the pandemic, with 29 per cent reporting a “decrease in income from work” and 31 per cent “more worried about money than normal”.

Additionally, almost a quarter (23 per cent) “expect their financial position to worsen” over the next three months.

Commenting on the findings, Debbie Kennedy, Director of Protection at LV=, said: “The coronavirus crisis has revealed very suddenly just how exposed we are to sudden shocks. The need to build resilience into our lives has never been more relevant or urgent.  The virus has not only had a devastating impact on physical health, it also has a huge effect on our mental health.

“We understand the emotional impact of bereavement and are doing all we can to make sure death claims are paid as quickly as possible so that families do not have to worry about the immediate financial impact of bereavement while they are grieving.”

The study comes as recent figures reveal that mental health reasons made up some 29 per cent of claims on income protection policies in the last year.

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