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Mental Health Awareness Week 2023: Anxiety in the UK and Vulnerable Demographics

Mental Health Awareness Month is an important annual event that aims to raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health issues. In 2023, the focus of Mental Health Awareness is anxiety, a condition that affects millions of people worldwide.  

In March 2023, the Mental Health Foundation worked with Opinium to conduct an online survey of 6,000 UK adults aged 18+ to look at anxiety in the UK population, its causes, and popular coping mechanisms. In this blog, we discuss some of the findings taken from the report and what you can do this week to join the movement.  

Key Findings from the Report  

Anxiety is a common mental health condition that can manifest as persistent worry, fear, and unease. It affects people of all ages and backgrounds, interfering with their daily lives and overall wellbeing. The Mental Health Foundation’s report on anxiety has revealed that 1 in 5 adults in the UK experience anxiety on a regular basis, making it one of the most prevalent mental health disorders. 

More specifically, the report reveals some interesting statistics that at Foundations, we feel need addressing:

  • Nearly all young people (18-24yrs) in the research (86%) had felt anxious in the previous two weeks.
  • For over half (58%) this had stopped them undertaking day-to-day activities.  
  • Other groups more likely to report feeling anxious were single parents (89%), LGBTQ+ people (89%), carers (84%), 18–34-year-olds (86%), people from a minority ethnic community (84%), people with a long-term physical health condition (LTC) (82%).  

The report also highlights socio-economic factors, highlighting the importance of the DFG and timely access to the grant.

“The relationship between socio-economic status and anxiety is complex, and influenced by a variety of individual, familial, and environmental factors. However, the evidence is clear that experiencing material deprivation and financial strain increases a person’s risk of having a mental health problem such as anxiety.” – Mental Health Foundation UK, May 2023.

In the research, those who had been anxious in the past two weeks, were asked about what they thought the cause of their anxiety was. 13% of people interviewed said that the cause was worrying about their housing and 10% said it was due to difficulty getting support for physcial health.

The Relationship Between Physical and Mental Health

The Mental Health Foundation UK provides a great deal of information about the relationship between physcial and mental health. Almost one third of people who have a long-term physcial health condition are affected by mental health problems, with the most common being anxiety and depression.

Multimorbidity, the presence of multiple chronic conditions in an individual, presents unique challenges to achieving better health outcomes, particularly when coupled with an unsafe or inaccessible home environment. For individuals with multimorbidity, managing various conditions simultaneously can be overwhelming, requiring careful coordination of treatments, medications, and lifestyle adjustments.

Without a safe and accessible home, these individuals face additional barriers that hinder their ability to improve their health. The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) plays a crucial role in tackling anxiety in this context. By providing funding for necessary home adaptations, such as handrails, ramps, or bathroom modifications, the DFG enhances safety, accessibility, and independence within the home.

A safe and accessible home environment reduces anxiety and improves the overall well-being of individuals with multimorbidity, enabling them to manage their conditions more effectively and live with greater confidence and peace of mind.

The Right Home Environments For Better Health and Wellbeing

The right home environment is essential to health and wellbeing. It is a wider determinant of health. The right home environment protects and improves health and wellbeing and supports physical and mental ill health. It also enables people to:

  • Manage their own health and care needs, including long term conditions
  • Live independently and safely in their own home for as long as they choose
  • Complete treatment and recover from substance misuse, respiratory illness or other ill-health
  • Move on successfully from homelessness or other traumatic life event
  • Access and sustain education, training and employment
  • Participate and contribute to society

Read our full guide on ‘Dealing With Unsafe Homes’ and learn more about why mental health conditions such as hoarding and dementia require careful, effective approaches from local authorities. The difference our work can make to the life of others is immense, especially when tackling anxiety as a wider problem in the UK.

Speak to Our Regional Advisors

Our team of Regional Advisors are at the heart of what we do – providing advice and support to Local Authorities and Home Improvement Agencies. And because we’re funded by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities our everyday support is free of charge.