Election Impact on Mental Health: Unveiling the Crisis in the UK

This piece critically examines the undeniable impact of recent elections on the mental health landscape in the UK, particularly under the conservative government.

Focusing on the aftermath of political decisions, it exposes the dire mental health crisis unfolding, backed by alarming statistics from authoritative sources like the NHS Confederation and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.


The study also explores the interconnected issues of domestic abuse and violence, revealing a worrisome relationship with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. A comprehensive analysis establishes the economic catastrophe triggered by a chain of events, including Brexit, as a critical contributor to the current situation.


The adverse effects on mental health are further underscored by research from Mind and the Mental Health Foundation, emphasising the toll on individuals facing financial precarity. The narrative concludes with a call to action, urging political prioritisation and investment in public mental health interventions to prevent the persistence of mental health challenges.


Ultimately, the article attributes the enduring crisis to government mismanagement and holds the conservatives accountable for the catastrophic conditions unfolding in the UK.


Mental Health Crisis

The election impact on the mental well-being of individuals in the UK is undeniable. The Conservative Party appears to overlook the mental health crisis they have inadvertently triggered for Britons. According to the NHS Confederation, the statistics present a grim reality – approximately 1.2 million people are presently awaiting mental health support. Despite the strenuous efforts of healthcare professionals, recent data indicates that one in five individuals seeking mental healthcare in accident and emergency departments spend more than 12 hours there.


As reported, the Royal College of Psychiatrists emphasises the gravity of the situation. Dr Lade Smith, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, states, “The public mental health emergency is genuine, wreaking havoc on thousands of lives. Psychiatrists and mental health services are stretched thin and inadequately resourced. Ongoing factors such as the cost-of-living crisis, conflicts and displacements, the climate emergency, and the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbate the situation.”


Dr Smith further notes that a significantly higher number of individuals in the UK require mental health treatment compared to those currently receiving it. The failure of individuals to access the necessary mental healthcare compounds their health issues and widens notable health disparities within the population.


Domestic abuse

A recent poll by Nationwide shows worrisome results about domestic violence. Almost half (48%) of the population have experienced or know someone who has experienced domestic abuse. Nearly one in four (24%) have been a victim themselves.


Economic rights, domestic violence, and the cost of living crisis


According to the Es Think Tank, women’s vulnerability to violence decreases when they have access to resources and possess social and economic rights. The current crisis in the cost of living is a consequence of a series of unfortunate preceding events that have adversely affected the economy, gradually leading to an economic catastrophe. This crisis has significantly increased the prices of essential needs such as housing and food, causing widespread poverty and suffering.


Individuals experiencing domestic abuse without adequate financial resources are confronted with distressing choices. A staggering 73% of victims hesitate to leave their abusers due to economic uncertainties and the prevailing crisis. Furthermore, an alarming 96% of them report a worsening of the abuse.


Brexit and the UK’s cost-of-living crisis

As stated on the London Assembly Website, the mayor of London emphasises the detrimental impact of Brexit on the city’s economy, identifying it as a ‘key contributor’ to the current cost-of-living crisis. He points to evidence indicating that Brexit is a driving force behind the rise in food prices.


City Hall has commissioned an independent report conducted by Cambridge Econometrics, revealing that London is grappling with 290,000 fewer jobs than it would have had without Brexit. Additionally, the report discloses a decline of over £30 billion in London’s economy.


In 2023, the average Briton experienced a financial setback of around £2,000. Specifically, the report highlights that the average Londoner faced a more substantial loss due to Brexit, with nearly £3,400 less in earnings last year.


Cost of Living Crisis and Mental Health

As Mind Website says, the cost of living crisis is already taking a significant toll on Britons’ mental health. Mind’s research has shown that almost half of people say the situation has impacted their mental health. Moreover, more than one in five are feeling depressed, stressed or anxious.


Those with mental health problems said they are washing clothes less. They are hounded on bills. They are watching every single penny. In an earlier survey, one in four people said they couldn’t afford to put the heating on. 


As the Mental Health Foundation reports, the cost-of-living crisis is still causing extensive mental distress, new data shows. Nearly one-third of adults (31%) in the UK felt anxious last month because of financial problems. That’s what recent poll in November 2023 showed. The poll results revealed that 27% felt stressed, and 9% felt hopeless.


This indicates that there has been no improvement since the previous poll conducted in November 2022. The enduring cost-of-living crisis has persisted for over a year, with individuals grappling with the ongoing challenges of meeting essential living expenses and contending with the mental health repercussions of financial concerns.


Prolonged feelings of anxiety or stress are likely to contribute to the development of more serious mental health issues.


Public mental health: Not a government prioritisation 

A serious issue that we witness in the UK is the election impact on the mental health of people. According to NHS Confederation, before the 2019 election, conservatives made commitments about people’s mental health.

One of the Party’s pledges was the commitment to treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health. Four years later, those warm words had yet to turn into any tangible action. 


As the Royal College of Psychiatrists reports, Dr Smith says many mental health illnesses are avoidable, and we can cure them if we treat them early. There is an absolute need for cross-government prioritisation to prevent mental illnesses.


He further adds that “we need investment in public mental health interventions to prevent mental illnesses from persisting and impacting people more. This is why we call on all political parties to prioritise public mental health in their manifestos”.


To conclude, the cost-of-living crisis and the resultant mental health problems are the results of the UK government’s mismanagement. Brexit has significantly worsened the cost-of-living crisis and the public mental health in the UK.

The conservatives are responsible for the catastrophic conditions that they have created in the UK. 

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