DORSET residents are being invited to talk about the impact the cost-of-living crisis has had on their mental health.

Scientists from the University of Southampton are surveying residents about the impact of recent price rises to understand if it is causing greater rates of anxiety and depression.

Dr Thomas Richardson, an associate professor of clinical psychology at the university, said people facing financial difficulties are more likely to experience ill mental health.

He said: “This study will help us understand the impact of the cost-of-living crisis to better support the financial and mental health of people in our communities.

“We know financial difficulties can impact mental health and vice versa. Anyone aged 18 and older can take part in the survey whether or not they are worried about money or mental health.”

Scientists are also working with nearby charities and organisations which support mental health and provide financial advice to help more people access available support.

Study co-lead Dr Dianna Smith, an associate professor of health geography at the university, said: “People may feel nervous to talk about debt and mental health but it’s only by hearing about their experiences that we can identify how best to help people with mental health.

“We know from previous work that people are turning to food banks and charities for advice and help, but we need to connect to organisations to give us a complete picture of the impact of higher living costs on people’s lives and health.”

The study has been funded the National Institute of Health Research's Applied Research Collaboration in Wessex to improve the life and health of communities in the region.

The survey is aimed at people living across Dorset and also Hampshire and can be completed online at