How Does Financial Hardship Affect Mental Health?

Website during recruitment (Version 5, 09/16; Ethics No. 23623)

Research shows that there is a link between poverty and poorer mental health:

• People in low income groups are more likely to experience mental health problems

• People claiming welfare payments are more likely to have mental health problems than those who don’t

• Being in financial hardship is the biggest risk factor for developing mental health problems

• Debt is an important factor in developing financial difficulties and increasing the risk of poor mental health

This research study is looking at what effect being in financial hardship has on mental health over time, and what it is about hardship that increases the risk of developing mental health problems.
The study is open to people in the UK and aged 18-65. You may take part in the research whether or not you are experiencing money worries.

Participants who choose to participate in this research will complete a set of measures related to their experience of financial difficulties and various aspects of their mental health at three time points, every three months, with the first time point occurring between April and October. This will take approximately 45 minutes at each time point. You will be sent an email with the link to the study 3 and 6 months after you first completed the measures to fill them in again. Therefore, if you were to complete the measures for the first time in June, you would complete them again in September and December.

Participants will be entered into a draw after they complete each set of measures to win one of ten prizes of £50.

This study is online and can be accessed through the link provided on this page. On accessing the link participants will be given information about the study and asked to consent to participate, after which they will complete the first set of measures.

Participants’ details will be retained by the study so that they can be contacted at each time point every three months. The battery of measures must be completed within that month.

If you are concerned about your mental health or financial difficulties then you may find the following resources helpful:

• Talk to your GP

• Mind Infoline: Call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463

• Samaritans: Call 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

• Step Change Debt Charity: Call 0800 138 1111 or visit www.stepchange.org