How Financial Stress Became a Reason of Mental Health Crisis: Research
Australia has been facing many challenges from COVID to weather changes, and financial distress due to high costs of living. There is a lot more road to work on the mental health system. The voices of Australians should dictate policy objectives. The new labour government takes office in a city in Australia, the University of Sydney's Maree Teesson and Scarlett Smout Sydney.
A new study was conducted to find out about the nation's mental health in Australia of more than 1,000 persons aged between 18 to 85. They found that participants in the study when asked about their difficulties faced, most of the participants informed that they have poor mental health services, financial difficulties and high cost of living and social disconnection.
To the strains that are already present in the mental health system. COVID had made it even more difficult. Participants who have been getting treatment for a long time said the cost of treatment is rising and it is stressful to even cure our mental health. Participants who were experiencing mental illness for the first time said there is not enough help to get. They have to wait a long time, and high fees and inaccessibility are the problems faced by them to get treatment.
The local people of Australia shared that COVID had pushed them into darker places. A non-binary person said that covid increased mental health causes such as financial issues, unable to keep a job, coronavirus supplyments being reduced and the living cost increased as a result of covid. A 30-year-old female from New South Wales said that "It is hard to find help; it takes six months to even take a counselling session. People need assistance as soon as possible when in crisis. But it is not happening here".
Before taking a Coronavirus Supplement, An Australian woman with a disability said that "It is better to kill myself than living this hard life. Coronavirus Supplement help me for many years, money wasn't an issue at the time." After the removal of the supplement, a woman in her late 20s said that "it is cruel and harmful to her mental health due to the removal of supplement. Even though they provide low payment it is not at all sufficient to live a normal life."
The social welfare system is set up to help mental health people. But it is not set up for the people who are unable to work due to mental health issues. The recovery of the people is getting harder and exacerbating some people's mental health because of low levels of income and the mutual obligation criteria of JobSeeker (the recipient must do job-related duties to receive a payment).
A New South Wales man expressed his concerns saying "I sometimes have to make hard decisions like missing my food a night to feed my dog. I can't even able to heat my house during winter. The cost of food is increasing and I can't even meet my ends." Another woman in her late 30s says that she sometimes cries at her full-time job. "I want to focus on the mental health recovering, but I need to work to provide for myself as the cost of living is increasing."
Due to the covid lockdowns, Disconnection from society and rigorous border controls, social and communal connection is an important priority for mental health, but it is lacking here. Even though many people mentioned financial stress as a cause of mental health issues. Many people also stated that the lack of proper facilities for people and communities to socialize in a healthy environment added to the top list of causes of poor mental health.
The different perspectives represented in the study provided direction for the government to develop a more resilient and psychologically healthy future. An NSW man asked to remove all the poker machines and to retore pubs so that people can socialise with others. They added that " We don't talk about our problems, we don't share with women, we hide our problems." Said male members asking that they need supportive communities. As there is less emphasis on male support.
- Even though the government elected a commitment by Labour to install the telepsychiatry Medicare item in regional and rural areas.
- Those are not the only causes to address. There are many other serious issues like long wait times, and high costs of treatment.
- The government must also look into other causes of mental health like financial crisis and social disconnection.
- Even though Labour promised to provide job security and housing affordability, but refused to increase the income support programmes.
- Labour also pledged to fight loneliness and social isolation in 2021, although no one looked into this matter after that.
To do all these reforms, the federal initiatives should be viewed from the perspective of social and emotional wellbeing across the nation. The research found that disasters like climate change and pandemics increased the factors that contribute to poor mental health. To improve mental health, one should look into the economy and infrastructure as well. The labour administration should include these in their disaster preparedness plan.