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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Amanda Ferguson

Doctor says cost of living crisis has 'huge impact' on mental and physical health

The increased health inequalities and negative wellbeing impact of the cost of living crisis is “escalating” with every passing week, says Belfast-based Dr Alan Stout, British Medical Association Northern Ireland GP committee chair.

He said it is having a “huge impact” on people’s mental and physical health across all socio-economic groups but particularly in the most disadvantaged communities.

“Mental health is the big umbrella term and we refer to is as social stress as well. That is the reality of what it is, particularly in more deprived areas where there is low incomes, and lack of hope.”

Patients are presenting with mood, anxiety and depression and symptoms such as headaches, stomach pains, shortness of breath, and palpitations.

The doctor noticed that more patients have headaches, anxiety and depression (Stock photo) (Getty Images)

“We are seeing it escalate and escalate particularly with the cost of living.

“The pressure and stress people are under with mortgages, bills, and food.

“People caught in spirals and crisis, and it is having knock on effects.”

Referrals to community groups, psychological support, signposting to Citizens Advice, plus counselling, and prescriptions are among the ways GPs are helping people.

He spoke of the “terrible negative vibe” throughout communities and of the importance of politics working for people.

“The real answer is in dealing with the social environment, the cost of living, funding, and support. This is where politics is so important at the minute. Giving people hope and aspiration among those who have the least.”

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