MP Mary Glindon column: Cost of living crisis also affecting young people's mental health

Mary Glindon, North Tyneside MP.Mary Glindon, North Tyneside MP.
Mary Glindon, North Tyneside MP.
The Prime Minister is the youngest in 200 years, but it’s fair to say he’s not at the sharp end of the income scale.

I worry about the experience of many young people on benefits.

A detailed report from the YMCA, the largest charitable provider of supported housing to young people in England and Wales, brings the discussion down to earth.

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They find that food is the first cut when times are tough. Young people are skipping meals, turning to food banks and making unhealthier choices due to their dire straits.

Energy bills are rocketing, especially for those on prepayment meters.

Many are already making tough decisions to go without heating, long before winter.

Others whose bills are included in their personal service charge will miss out on government interventions such as the £400 energy rebate.

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Supported accommodation is not seen as a “household”, even though they are required to make a contribution to the cost.

Those without support networks from family and friends have no one to turn to. This increases high debt levels.

Many young people’s mental health has suffered and they can no longer afford to do anything social or even travel anywhere, because all they could afford to do is survive.

The worry alone also increases depression and anxiety.

This also undermines aspiration as it is too risky to leave supported accommodation as they fear not being able to afford the bills, and worry about the insecurity of private renting if they fall behind.

The YMCA voices their concerns, and I will amplify them in parliament.