How to manage debts without affecting your mental health
I knew that debt affects mental health and vice versa, but the statistics I found did surprise me.
- One in four adults will have a mental health problem at some point in their life.
- One in two adults with debt has a mental health problem.
- One in four people with a mental health problem is also in debt.
- Debt can cause – and be caused by – mental health problems.
I found some really good material when I was doing my research. The best material I found was a booklet that Martin Lewis, at moneysavingexpert.com has compiled. He uses the guidance of organisations such as Mind, Stepchange, Citizens Advice, Rethink, Mental Illness and others. It is very thorough, and hence it is quite a long booklet, but I recommend it.
I have put some of my observations down and more importantly, pointers of where to go to find out more or to get help.
You are one of many – don’t think you are the only one in this situation
Debt problems can be solved. If you go for help in relation to debt, the advisors are not here to judge you, they will make no assumptions, they will not tell anybody about your problems…they will just do their job, which is sorting out what needs to be done to deal with the debt.
Somebody out there will want to help you
If you feel that you just can’t face dealing with your debt problems, is there somebody you trust that could help you?
Try to get as much information together as you are able
If you can, put all the information about your debts together. Even if this is just putting all the letters from people you can’t pay in a folder or envelope. Tiny steps.
Try to put a budget together so you know how much money you have coming in and how much you have going out.
Be brave and get the help you need
Discuss with a trusted friend, a debt charity, a debt counsellor – anybody who you feel you could talk to. If you are at this stage, you are over the hardest part.
Free Debt Counselling Agencies:
- Citizens advice – National Helpline 03444 111 444 – www.citizensadvice.org
- Stepchange – 0800 138 1111 www.stepchange.org
- National Debtline – 0808 808 4000 www.nationaldebtline.org
More urgent things to deal with:
- Bailiffs – here is what a bailiff may or may not do www.gov.uk/your-rights-bailiffs
- Threats of eviction or re-possession – get free housing advice www.moneyadvice service.org.uk
- Bankruptcy – Talk to a debt counsellor or an Insolvency Practitioner (like me)
Other places to go for help:
Your health and your debts
- Mind – mental illness and getting help – www.mind.org.uk
- The Rethink Mental Health Advice & Information Service – 0300 5000 927 www.rethink.org
- The Money & Mental Health Advice Service – www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org
- Combat Stress – 0800 138 1619 www.combatstress.org.uk
- Bipolar Uk – www.bipolaruk.org
- Alzheimer’s Society – 0300 222 1122 www.alzheimers.org.uk
Help for carers
- Help for Carers – 0808 808 777
- Carers UK – 0808 808 777 www.carersuk.org
- Benefits and Discounts for carers – www.turn2us.org.uk www.ceacord.co.uk