cost of living

Support for you or someone you care about

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing during difficult times.

In this section there are links to financial support that you could be eligible for as well as tips on looking after your mental health and wellbeing.

I want to worry less

How can I reduce my worries?

We know people are worried about the rising cost of living, it’s at the forefront of everybody’s minds at the moment. After a few stressful years with COVID, it can be massively draining to have to live through and deal with another crisis. It’s dominating our lives through news and over social media – it’s no surprise that this will be affecting mental health for many.

With lots of uncertainty, it’s a scary and confusing time and it’s very easy to slip into a negative, pessimistic or even depressive headspace. However, there are things you can do to adjust your mindset and perspective to stop this fear and anxiety controlling you, helping you to approach the crisis with a more logical head.

No good ever came of doing something in panic, anger or fear, so wait until you’re calm – preferably after speaking to someone you trust, such as a helpline or someone else with financial nous, such as the Citizens’ Advice Bureau – before you take any action.

Burying your head in the sand doesn’t make the problem go away. When you ‘own’ the problem you can start to get a handle on your stress and anxiety.

Take the first step and say to yourself ‘Today is the day I need to take action, take control and make a plan.’

By facing the problem and resolving to do whatever you can about it – however small the steps – you effectively take control of it.

Set half an hour aside to ‘worry’. Get your concerns on paper, analyse your financial situation, empty your head so these noisy thoughts aren’t clogging up your head and dedicate time to examining the situation from every angle. Doing this allows you to engage with your worries with a more logical head, instead of one in panic mode. Use this time to reflect on your finances, research your options and action-plan, instead of sending yourself in to a negative thought spiral.

It’s important that you allow yourself this time – but make it productive. Worrying without also thinking logically and rationally about your options is wasted time and energy and will only increase your anxiety.

With today’s 24 hour rolling news and social media, it can feel like you are exposed to a constant stream of negative news. Try cutting down on the amount of time you spend on social media and watching the news. Decide to watch or listen to one trusted news source a day to stay on top of the situation without it overwhelming you.

There is support out there for people who are struggling financially. Visit the Rotherham Borough Council website for the latest information on financial support. Check the website of your utility supplier for their latest information.

You are not alone in this crisis. Millions of people all over the UK share your concerns and there are support services available that are designed to help.

Sometimes simply talking about it to someone, whether it’s a loved one, a colleague or more specialist support, eases the burden and allows you to approach the situation more calmly.

You can visit our debt section for information and support.

Visit the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council website for financial information and support.

There are many organisations and charities that can support with debt relief. You can find these in our local and national support sections using the buttons below.

Don’t bottle it up and shoulder the burden alone, there is help available. Take action before it overwhelms you.

When you are in the grip of anxiety and panic, you often want to find a solution, any solution, as quickly as possible to ease your mind. However, you need to be sure you’re making decisions that work for you.

Be very cautious about taking on extra debt, such as loans or credit cards, and be sure you’ve budgeted appropriately. Speak to a financial planner, a trusted loved one or an independent third party to ensure you’ve taken action that is workable.

Take time to look over all your options and don’t be pressured into making snap decisions which could negatively affect you later on.

The cost of living crisis is not a personal failure. The external events which have created this problem are beyond our control. You haven’t failed. You are not a bad person.

Try to get some respite from your anxiety and worry through gentle escapism such as reading a book or getting out for a walk.

Visit our wellness hive for information, support and activities to help you be kind to you.

Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. None of us are superhuman and we’re all impacted by the situation we’re facing. You don’t need to suffer alone.

Tips for staying in control

How can I stay in control?

It’s important to be structured in how you approach the task of coping with the cost-of-living crisis and its impact on your mental health. In this section are some ideas to help you keep on top of things.

Understanding debt is the first step to getting out of it. Pay attention to interest rates and prioritise the most expensive debt. Credit cards are generally more expensive than overdrafts, which in turn are generally more expensive than approved loans through reputable lenders.

Get support from a trusted professional or a specialist helpline to support you through understanding where you can make changes.

Talk to your bank, creditors, a helpline or specialist adviser and see if they can help you to take steps to manage some or all of your debt, possibly with lower repayments. But whatever you do, don’t ignore correspondence from your creditors.

Now is the time to look at your finances and get rid of the expenditure you no longer need to lay out. Life changes, and your needs change with it. If you don’t go to the gym anymore, cancel your subscription. Decide if you really need that monthly magazine.

The more control you have, the less stress you will feel.

Obviously, adding to your income is an effective way of boosting your budget or paying down debt. There are lots of options for doing this – taking a second part-time job may be an option, or you might be a wizard in the kitchen and could start a small baking business to sell produce locally.

BUT be careful your new income stream doesn’t also increase your stress.

You can further reduce stress by finding stress-reducing routines and exercises, eating better, resting more, exercising (you don’t need the expensive gym membership to do it, either), learning yoga and making sure you talk to people who you feel emotionally safe with.

Financial anxiety and stress cause sleepless nights and constant worry. But help is always at hand. Once you’re committed to controlling your financial security as much as you can, you’ll probably find your stress reduces noticeably.

I am concerned about someone else

I’m concerned about someone else and their financial situation

Knowing what to look for, what to say and what you can do to help.

Some people find it difficult to talk about money and it can be hard to admit they are struggling financially. Signs that someone is struggling with costs of living are not always easy to see if you don’t know what to look for. As someone close to them, you may be better placed to recognise some changes in their behaviour.

They may be defensive about their situation, be in denial or have feelings of humiliation or shame.

The best way to approach someone you’re concerned about is with sensitivity and empathy. Reaching out to someone could help them know that someone cares, that they are valued, and help them access the support they need.

Everyone copes and reacts in their own way, but here are some general signs to look out for. For some people, several of these signs might apply; for others just one or two, or none.

  • Feeling restless and agitated
  • Feeling angry and aggressive
  • Feeling tearful
  • Being tired or lacking in energy
  • Not wanting to talk to or be with people
  • Not wanting to do things they usually enjoy
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope with feelings
  • Finding it hard to cope with everyday things
  • Not replying to messages or being distant
  • Talking about feeling hopeless, helpless or worthless
  • Talking about feeling trapped by life circumstances they can’t see a way out of, or feeling unable to escape their thoughts
  • A change in routine, such as sleeping or eating more or less than normal
  • Engaging in risk-taking behaviour, like gambling or violence

You might not always be able to spot these signs. These emotions may be more difficult to spot if you’re seeing less of the people you’re close to.

  • Relationship and family problems
  • Housing problems
  • Financial worries
  • Work-related stress
  • College or study-related pressures
  • Bullying, abuse or neglect
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Challenging current events
  • Depression
  • Painful and/or disabling physical illness
  • Increased use of or dependency on alcohol or other drugs

Again, these may not apply to everyone who is struggling, but they can be useful to look out for.

Once someone starts to share how they’re feeling, it’s really important to listen first before helping them make a support plan. To begin with, this could mean not offering advice, not trying to identify what they’re going through with your own experiences and not trying to solve their problems. We’ve compiled some listening tips to help you give the best support you can.

Focus on the other person, make eye contact, put away your phone.

To really listen to somebody, you need to give them your full attention, maintain eye contact and be engaged.

It may take time and several attempts before a person is ready to open up.

Effective listening is about creating trust with the other person. The person sharing should not feel rushed so that they can put their trust in you.

If they’ve paused in their response, wait, they may not have finished speaking. It might take them some time to formulate what they are saying, or they may find it difficult to articulate what they’re feeling.

Through non-judgemental listening, you are allowing the person to relax into the conversation and to use it as a place to reflect or work through difficult emotions.

Use open questions that need more than a yes/no answer, and follow up with questions like ‘Tell me more’

An open-ended question means not jumping in with your own ideas about how the other person may be feeling.

These questions don’t impose a view point and require a person to pause, think and reflect, and then hopefully expand.

Avoid asking questions or saying something that closes down the conversation. Keep using open-ended questions and encourage them to talk, the conversation is a safe space that you are holding for them and nothing they say is right or wrong. Try asking, ‘how are you feeling today’?

Check you’ve understood, but don’t interrupt or offer a solution.

Repeating something back to somebody is a really good way to reassure them that they have your full attention and that you’re hearing what they want you to hear, not putting your own interpretation onto the conversation.

Don’t be put off by a negative response and, most importantly, don’t feel you have to fill a silence.

Sometimes it can feel intrusive to ask someone how they feel. You’ll soon be able to tell if someone is uncomfortable and doesn’t want to engage with you.

You’ll be surprised at how willing people are to listen and how, sometimes, it is exactly what somebody needs to be able to share what is going on their mind.

Local support services in Rotherham

Access cost of living support in a welcoming and safe space.

  • Money management
  • Energy advice
  • Cost of living support available
  • Digital skills support

Tel: 01709 368515

Regular fortnightly drop in sessions held in the following areas of Rotherham:
Canklow, Dalton, Dinnington, East Dene, East Herringthorpe, Ferham, Maltby, Masbrough, Munsbrough and Wath.

Rotherham Council website has information about cost of living support available to you.

Rotherham Food Bank – emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis.

Advice line: 0808 278 7911 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm)
Book a video advice callback: 01709 515680
Universal Credit Help To Claim: 0800 144 8844

Rotherham Council and its partners are offering a Warm Welcome at venues across the borough this winter.

These venues are open to anyone to use whether you want to meet with friends and family, get involved in events and activities, or just have a change of scenery while you read a book or do your crossword puzzle.

If you are concerned about the impact the rising cost of living is having on your financial position and wellbeing, support is available. You can find a wide variety of advice, access to financial support and guidance on the Rotherham Council website. Money matters – Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

The links below will help you to find local support services from other pages on the Rotherhive site.

National support organisations

116 123 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year)

Help for Households is a UK government website with information on what support is available including discounts and offers from businesses.

Citizens Advice has information about the Household Support Fund, benefits, cost of living fund, help with energy bills and essential costs as well as links to further support services.

Mental Health and Money Advice has information about how you can maintain your mental wellbeing at this time, alongside information on how to manage your money as your bills rise. website has information about support with income, bills, support for disabled people, small businesses, childcare, etc.

0800 138 1111 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 8am to 4pm)
Online debt advice service (24hrs a day, 365 days a year)

StepChange debt charity can help you get your finances back on track.

Turn2us is a national charity helping people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help.

Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)

Mind has information and support including where to get emergency or crisis support, links to local Mind support services and much more.

116 123 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year)

Samaritans provides support and help for people who are thinking about suicide or for those worried about someone else.

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With the cost of living in the UK rising massively, lots of people are struggling. Luckily there’s help available – and it’s not just for those out of work. There’s support for those earning but still struggling, plus additional help if you’ve got children, caring responsibilities, or a long-term health condition.

Benefits Calculator: What am I entitled to – MoneySavingExpert

Support apps

Money Dashboard helps you to stay on top of your money. You can see all your accounts in one place, know how much money you have left until payday and grow your savings. A web app is available as well as smartphone app.


Emma helps you in avoiding overdrafts, finding wasteful subscriptions and giving the control you need over your finances. Connect all your accounts in one place, for free.


Worry Tree helps you record, manage and problem solve your worries and anxiety based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques.


The NHS App gives you a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.
You can use the app if you are aged 13 or over. You must be registered with an NHS GP surgery in England or the Isle of Man. You can also log in through the NHS website on a computer to use NHS App services.


Rotherhive is not responsible for content on websites or apps mentioned on the site. Always read the app’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy to see how your data may be used.

RotherHive is developed by Rotherham Place Partnership

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