Inflation hurts Americans’ mental health – The Hill

Story at a glance


  • The new LifeWorks Mental Health Index shows that people whose basic needs are not being met are 16 percentage points lower than the national average.

  • Rising costs have forced half of Americans to cut spending.

  • Only 16 percent said inflation hasn’t affected them yet, though they expect it will eventually.

Inflation is taking its toll on Americans’ mental health, especially among those who cannot afford basic necessities due to rising costs, according to a new survey published Thursday.

The new Life Works Mental Health Index found that people whose basic needs are not being met because of inflation have a score of 16 percentage points below the national average.

Rising costs have forced half of Americans to cut spending, the index shows, and only 16 percent said inflation hasn’t affected them yet, though they expect it will eventually.

Mental health disparities also clearly depended on a person’s homeowner status, as people who rent homes had lower mental health scores. Federal data shows that rents rose 5 percent across the country in May from last year.

“After years of pandemic-related fears, more Americans are now facing a new looming fear of not being able to put food on their table or have home security due to the soaring inflation. It’s important to recognize that financial pressures are destabilizing and can impact mental health,” said Paula Allen, senior vice president of research and total wellness at LifeWorks, in a press release.

“It allows employees to be more on edge than before,” Allen continued. “Good communication and a workplace where people feel respect and connection go a long way every day, especially now.”

The LifeWorks monthly online survey was conducted May 2-18, 2022 of 5,000 respondents in the United States who were employed in the past six months.


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President Biden is backing a plan to cut costs at the pump from an average of $5 a gallon nationwide. This would suspend both the 18-cent federal tax and the 26-cent average state tax on gasoline.

“Today I call on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for the next 90 days during the busy…travel season,” Biden said Wednesday.

“But we can also lower gas prices further in another way,” he added. “Therefore, the second action I am taking is to call on states to either suspend the state gas tax or find other ways to provide some relief.”

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Published on June 23, 2022

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