This week is mental health awareness week. Money worries can have a huge impact on your mental health, and equally your mental health can influence how you manage your money too. We know that it’s really important to discuss and raise awareness of the issues some face to remove the stigma around mental health, and this week we wanted to share some resources where you can go for help if you need it.
Money and mental health – the facts*
- Across England 1.5million people are experiencing both problem debt and mental health problems
- 46% of people in problem debt also have a mental health problem
- 86% of people with experience of mental health problems said that their financial situation had made their mental health problems worse
- 18% of people with mental health problems are also in debt
- 43% of people with mental health problems are in employment, compared to 74% of the general population and 65% of people with other health conditions
What is problem debt?
According to the Family Resources Survey, which is a series of annual research issued by the Government, problem debt is defined as being behind with any household bill or credit commitment. However, these figures issued by the Government don’t include store cards, mail order payments and informal loans from friends or family, so the actual figures of people behind with repaying money is likely to be even higher.
Where you can go for help and support
Getting support and advice at an early stage if you’re struggling with your mental health and it’s having an impact on how you manage your finances is really important, so you can avoid things getting worse and potentially ending up in problem debt.
Equally it’s never too late to ask for help, and if your money worries are having an impact on your mental health, there are plenty of free resources available that are ready to help you get back on track.
The below is just a selection of what support and help is available if you need it.
Christians Against Poverty. CAP offers free debt help and provides local community groups across the UK. Their services provide practical and emotional support to help you with whatever you might be facing.
Citizens Advice. Citizens Advice offer a network of local charities that provide free help and support on a range of different areas, including debt and money. Their website has several tools and resources to help you manage your money and get on top of your debts.
Mental health and money advice. Developed by Mental Health UK, this website is an online only resource that offers practical advice and support to anyone with experiencing issues with money and their mental health.
Mind. Mind is a mental health charity that offers support and information to both people with mental health problems, and also to those who want to support someone they care about with a mental health problem. They also have helplines which can provide information on mental health problems.
MSE coronavirus and bills help. Money Saving Expert have created a thorough and detailed guide that offers information to help you get support and know what you’re entitled to if you’ve been affected financially in the last year because of coronavirus. The site has also created an additional guide filled with information on money and mental health that you can view here.
National Debtline. The National Debtline charity has a helpline and live chat to provide free advice and support for those in need. Their website also has a range of tools such as budget planners to help you start to feel in control with your money.
StepChange debt charity. StepChange offer free, confidential advice to help you with your debt and works with you to help manage your money.
The Breathing Space scheme. The Government launched a scheme at the start of May which gives anyone who’s in problem debt with 60 days of ‘breathing space’. During these 60 days you’ll still need to continue paying your debts, but there won’t be any interest or fees added to your existing debts. The Government website gives more detail on the scheme and what exclusions there are, and the charity debt charity StepChange has some great resources on the scheme too.
To get access to the breathing space scheme you need to be referred by a debt advice provider, or your local authority where they give advice.
The Money Advice Service. This is a free and impartial advice service set up by the government, and can help you to feel in control of your money with tools and resources, and also offers debt advice.
British Bank Awards nominated online financial influencers. Many of the influencers nominated in our British Bank Awards have experienced money issues in the past, and have documented their journeys and how there are now managing their money.
The contents of this blog don’t constitute advice. If you are struggling with your mental health and have money worries, please visit some of the resources listed in the blog who will be able to provide you with advice and guidance. For 24-hour support, you can also call Samaritans on 116 123.
*Facts taken from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute factsheet.