Cost-of-living and mental health: perspectives from OPEN

In these videos, members of our OPEN community tell us about their perspectives on the cost-of-living crisis and messages of support for others experiencing financial and mental health struggles.

We hope you find these perspectives helpful, but some content can make us think about our own needs. If anything you see leaves you feeling low or worried, you can find ways to get help here.

Highlights from OPEN members' videos

Further down the page, you can hear more in-depth thoughts from the OPEN members featured in this joint video.


Ajay lives in South West London with his wife and two grown-up children. Family life is very important to him.

Ajay was diagnosed with cancer four years ago. He retired early due to work stress during the pandemic. His wife is also retired.

They are living off savings and investments until they can claim their pensions.


Bella lives in South West Wales with her dog. She has three children, who have grown up and left home, and three grandchildren, who are very important in her life.

She is currently in her final year studying criminology. Bella has struggled with money for some time and is currently appealing a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) decision.


Kira is a student living in student halls in Gloucester. They study Occupational Therapy, work as a support worker and were care-experienced as a youth.


Mike lives in North London with his landlady and her son. He does youth and community work on a self-employed basis and is passionate about helping others.

His interest in mental health stems from his own lived experience.

Mike's rent has recently increased, and he is feeling the impact of the rising cost-of-living.

Related content

Cost-of-living and mental health

The cost-of-living crisis is affecting us all. We offer a variety of resources to help support you through these challenging times.

Our OPEN community

Our Personal Experience Network (OPEN) is a diverse online community of people we ask to inform what we do, from quick feedback on a social media post to fully participating in a research project.

Getting support during the cost-of-living crisis

Many of us are facing new worries because of the cost-of-living crisis. If you’re having a hard time with things and it seems like there’s nothing anyone can do to help, there are ways that the government or organisations can help and guide you through these difficult times.

Three ways to look after your mental health during the cost-of-living crisis

Worrying about bills and the cost of food, on top of our usual daily stresses, can make it hard to find the time to look after yourself. But even when there's so much going on, it’s important to find time to protect your well-being and mental health.

Was this content useful?