New research has shown that a third of people have suffered mental health concerns as a result of debt problems.
Surveys carried out in conjunction with Mental Health Week, have revealed that 31% of UK residents feel that the stress of debt has had a negative impact on their mental health, with over half of respondents admitting to regularly losing sleep because of financial concerns. In addition to this, 76% of those questioned said that the struggle to get out of debt is on their mind almost all of the time.
In response to this, the NHS has launched an interactive tool, where people can explore their concerns over potential mental health issues. Based on given responses, website users will then be directed to all appropriate advice. Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, Jenny Edwards CBE, praised the plans, saying: “It is encouraging to see the NHS taking action by launching this tool, which will provide support for people who are finding their money worries are leading to prolonged feelings of stress and anxiety. We call for this tool to be widely promoted among health and social care professionals, who are often the first point of contact when someone is feeling depressed or anxious.”
The report also highlights the impact debt problems can have not just on mental health, but on physical health and the state of relationships too. Thirty five per cent of respondents admitted that relationships had suffered as a result of money worries, with 14% saying they had lost friends because of an inability to get out of debt. Ms Edwards went on to say, “Anxiety affects us all and in this Mental Health Awareness Week we are asking everyone to better understand, talk about and manage their anxiety, and to feel empowered to seek self-help and support without fear of stigma or discrimination.”