STOCKHOLM, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) — One in eight Swedes had financial difficulties last year, making them more vulnerable to mental health problems, the Public Health Agency said on Thursday.
Twelve percent of respondents in a national survey said they had difficulty meeting expenses for food, rent and bills, the agency said in a press release.
The survey found that 20 percent of those who had financial problems also reported high levels of stress and problems with anxiety, while this percentage was only six percent among people living in financial stability.
“The increased costs of food, electricity, transportation and other things affect everyone, but those with smaller financial margins are hit particularly hard,” says Hillevi Busch, researcher and analyst at the agency, in the press release.
The study also found that the percentage reporting mental health problems and suicidal thoughts has remained at about the same level since 2018.
For a long time, however, the number of people with mental health problems has increased, and in many cases Busch sees a clear connection with the state of personal finances.
“This relationship is bidirectional. About half of those with some kind of financial problem also answered that they have a long-term illness. Having health problems can affect the ability to work and thus affect the private economy. In addition, financial problems themselves can negatively affect mental health ,” Busch said.
The survey was conducted earlier this year among 17,000 respondents over the age of 16.