Living Cost Pressures Make Australians More Stressed Than COVID-19: Study

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A survey by a mental health and well-being support organisation found that living cost pressures have replaced COVID-19 as the most significant source of worry for Australians.

Beyond Blue surveyed 1,500 people across the country and identified a number of factors that caused great concerns among the respondents: high inflation, rising interest rates and cost of living pressures, the war in Ukraine and worries about the future.

In addition, the charity found that compared to the same time last year, fewer people looked for advice about COVID-19 issues, while more needed consultation on family and relationship stress and anxiety.

Beyond Blue chief executive Georgie Harman said people were still adjusting their lives, although they no longer considered the pandemic a significant source of worry.

“Survey respondents say a lack of social connection, isolation, negative self-worth are lingering feelings, and that things aren’t quite back to normal just yet,” Harman said.

Epoch Times Photo
A visitor works in the communal rooftop garden as part of a mental health program in Sydney, Australia, on April 3, 2014. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Additionally, the survey showed that nearly half of the respondents felt lost about their mental health and well-being issues, while a similar number of people thought they did not need support with solving their problems.

Harman encouraged people to make use of supplementary support services when they got into trouble.

“No problem is too big or small. Seeking support at the first sign you’re not feeling quite yourself can make it easier to bounce back and maintain good mental health,” she said.

One in Two Australians Need Mental Health Support

Meanwhile, an annual report by Mental Health Australia showed both positive and concerning trends in Australians’ mental health.

It found that more than half of the Australians surveyed needed mental health support in the last three months, and around 77 percent of them were able to receive it. The most common sources of support were family and friends or health practitioners.

“People are very willing to help others around them, but many still feel like they should solve their problems on their own,” Mental Health Australia CEO Leanne Beagley said.

“Perhaps because it’s hard to reach out and ask for help or let people know when you are struggling.”

The organisation’s chair Matt Berriman said the purpose of the annual report was to track Australians’ mental health and well-being over time to improve the country’s mental health system.

“It’s not just about solutions we need right now but also meaningful structural reform that ensures a better future,” Berriman said.

“Solutions that will only result from working together–governments, community, and industry–to drive change.”

 

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

Lifeline 13 11 14

Alfred Bui

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Alfred Bui is an Australian reporter based in Melbourne and focuses on local and business news. He is a former small business owner and has two master’s degrees in business and business law. Contact him at alfred.bui@epochtimes.com.au.



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