Coronavirus: Two in three Brits worried they won't be able to buy food and clothes

Abigail Fenton
·Writer
·3 min read
67% of Brits may not be able to afford essentials, such as food and clothes. Photo: Maria Lin Kim/Unsplash
67% of Brits may not be able to afford essentials, such as food and clothes. Photo: Maria Lin Kim/Unsplash

Two in three Brits are worried they won't be able to afford basic necessities such as food and clothing, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A staggering 71% of Brits told My Online Therapy they are worried about not having enough money to pay their rent, mortgage and utility bills during the coronavirus crisis – with a quarter even describing themselves as “extremely worried.”

What's even more concerning, 67% of Brits may not be able to afford essentials, such as food and clothes, the survey of 1,000 by the virtual psychology clinic found.

More than a third (36%) of people said the financial blow caused by COVID-19 has negatively affected their well-being as they struggle with how they will reckon with their finances – making money worries the largest single factor contributing to stress, anxiety and depression during the pandemic.

Taking all factors into account, the crisis has had a negative impact on seven in 10 or 69% of Brits's mental health, the survey found.

READ MORE: World Mental Health Day: More than half of UK workers worry about finding a job

Adding to the financial strain already felt by a vast majority of Brits, the furlough scheme is coming to an end at the end of October – meaning there is heightened anxiety and stress related to debt and other financial issues.

Nearly half (49%) of Brits are worried about the furlough scheme coming to an end, while 54% are worried they or someone in their household will lose their job when the scheme grinds to a halt on 31 October.

Second to finances, 34% of Brits said relationships have had the largest negative impact on their mental health amid the pandemic. More than a third (34%) revealed that COVID-19 has put a strain on their relationship with their family, while 30% said it has put tension on their relationship with their partner. 26% admitted that it has had a negative impact on their friendships.

Work and life changes have also been big stressors over the last few months, with a third and a quarter (26%) of respondents, respectively, citing these as having the biggest negative impact on their mental well-being.

However, the negative impact of body image issues has actually decreased during the pandemic – 22% of Brits said body image issues have negatively impacted their mental health since March, compared to 31% pre-pandemic.

READ MORE: UK chancellor announces 'local furlough' scheme and business grants

“The world as we know it has changed dramatically as we experience the unprecedented turmoil caused by coronavirus, and it is clear that this has had a considerable impact on our mental health,” said Elettra Bianchi Dennerlein, co-founder of My Online Therapy.

“Britons all over the country are experiencing heightened anxiety amid the pandemic, which is increasing demand for mental health services and putting a strain on the NHS services that are available.

“Prioritising mental health has never been more critical as it is absolutely fundamental to our overall health and wellbeing.”

Watch: Coronavirus: Boris Johnson reveals new COVID-19 rules on face masks, fines, pubs and working from home