I really want to preface this blog post by saying that everybody experiences mental health issues differently. People with exactly the same diagnoses can have polar opposite experiences.
Also, if you are struggling with Mental Health issues, please reach out for help. I have linked some mental health resources and helplines at the end of the post.
We all know that managing our money can be difficult, even when we are healthy and our lives are calm and running smoothly. So it makes sense that it gets even more difficult when we experience mental health problems, and approximately 1 in 4 of us do.
Issues like depression can make us blow the budget as we aim to try and make ourselves feel better, and problems such as bipolar disorder can find us spending like a millionaire when we are in a manic phase.
It is no coincidence that poor mental health is very strongly correlated with high levels of debt (Approx 50% of people with debt, also have mental health difficulties).But the opposite can also be true, that high levels of debt (or ANY level of debt) can cause mental health issues.
66M people live in the U.K. That means that 16M of us currently have some sort of mental health issue. And out of that 16M, 8M are in debt.
BUT I FEEL ITS CRUCIAL TO NOTE THAT DEBT IS ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS SOLVABLE. The solution may not be a quick or easy one, but it is still possible. There are plenty of charities and organisations that can help you if you are struggling with debt and you have a mental health issue.
Sources of help (This list was taken from The Royal College of Psychiatrists);
- National Debtline: For free specialist advice. Tel: 0808 808 4000
- StepChange DebtCharity offering free debt advice and free debt management. Tel: 0800 138 1111 or visit StepChange Debt Remedy – their anonymous, online debt counselling service.
- Payplan: Free debt management service and advice guides on budgeting and alternative debt solutions. Tel: 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980.
- Money made clear: information about a range of financial issues, including the “debt test”. The FSA will provide free, confidential online, telephone and face-to-face support and advice. Consumer helpline (including someone representing a consumer) 0845 606 1234.
- Rethink Advice Service: Tel: 0300 5000 927
- NHS Stressline: practical information and advice from trained health advisors.Tel: 0300 123 200.
The MoneySavingExpert website also has a wonderful FREE booklet to download which explains the topic in more detail. You can read and download it here https://images6.moneysavingexpert.com/images/documents/mentalhealthguide_new_march_2018.pdf?_ga=2.42162853.1413502628.1535804009-1252977763.1534859923
And there is a wonderful blog post on Debt and Mental Health that is well worth a read,over on My Debt Diary
Until next time,Claire.