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Research project


Project overview

Background: Poverty can have a significant impact on health. There is lots of research which suggests that being in debt or struggling to pay the bills can lead to poor mental health such as problems with depression and anxiety. There is currently a cost-of-living crisis with record inflation and energy bills.

Aim: This research will analyse the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on the mental health of the adults in Hampshire. It will also identify the best pathways for support for people struggling with both mental health and financial problems.

Design & Methods: There will be several methods used here. We will interview staff at local financial advice and NHS mental health services for their views. We will use existing data from the NHS and other services about demand for services and if this has changed over recent months with the cost-of-living crisis. We will also interview patients with lived experience about their views. We will conduct new questionnaire-based survey to try to look at the impact of financial problems on mental health over time. Finally, we will look at what the existing research tells us about how the relationship between financial problems and mental health, and if this impacts certain groups of people more strongly than others.

Patient & Public Involvement: We will involve those with lived experience and members of the public in the design of our research. They will also form part of a steering group to oversee our work. Finally, they will help us to develop recommendations about local support and how to share the outcomes of our research.

Dissemination: We will write up our findings in academic journals and present them at conferences. We will present our finding to the public at an open free event. We will also have a free report summarising the findings, and flyers and videos summarising the research in an accessible way.


Lead researcher

Dr Dianna Smith

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Small-area estimation for policy analysis
Connect with Dianna
Other researchers

Professor Nisreen A Alwan MBE, MBChB, MRCP, FFPH, MPH, MSc, PhD, FHEA, PGCAP

Professor of Public Health

Research interests

  • Public Health
  • Lifecourse Epidemiology
  • Long Covid
Connect with Nisreen A

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs