Number of self-employed struggling with mental health on the rise

(2 minutes to read)

IPSE: ‘One of the most practical things government can do is help stave off the financial worries of freelancers and the self-employed, since this sector has been hit harder than most by lockdown and the pandemic’.

Since the beginning of the pandemic there has been a 300% rise in the number of self-employed saying they have ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ mental health.

The IPSE findings also show that those saying they had ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ mental health has decreased from 68% to 39%.

As many as 47% of contractors who said they were feeling stressed said that they were losing sleep due to worry and a further 46% felt their confidence and energy had declined.

Chloé Jepps, Head of Research at IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), said, “Lockdown and the pandemic have clearly shaken the mental health of the freelancing sector. Before the pandemic, many people went freelance for the freedom and flexibility.

“Now, however, with financial worries mounting and not enough support from government, one in four freelancers are struggling with their mental health. This is a simmering crisis for freelancers across the UK – and one that government and industry have to confront.”

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Jepps added, “One of the most practical things government can do is help stave off the financial worries of freelancers and the self-employed, since this sector has been hit harder than most by lockdown and the pandemic. The government should make sure there is no cliff-edge to its support schemes and that any further support is open to all the self-employed, not just a proportion.

“We also believe it is vital government and industry begin promoting mental health advice and guidance that is tailored to freelancers. This essential and large part of the workforce has not had the mental health support it needs and in the current financial turmoil, that need is more urgent than ever.”

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