The impact debt can have on mental health
In support of ‘Time to Talk Day’ our partners Payplan have dedicated their monthly blog on highlighting the impact debt can have on someone’s mental health and how best to support people struggling with both their finances and their mental health.
PayPlan, understand that mental health and mental illness can be closely intertwined with debt. Problem debt can be a major worry for many people and being in a poor financial situation can trigger or add to mental health problems.
The following could be signs someone is suffering with their mental health:
- Feeling sad, down or like nothing matters
- Not able to perform daily tasks
- Eating too much or too little
- Frequently tired, low or no energy
- Smoking, drinking or using drugs
- Extreme mood swings, yelling, fighting
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on-edge, angry, upset, worried or scared
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Hearing voices or believing things that aren’t true
Express concern and offer a helping hand
Letting someone know you’re worried is a good way to open up a conversation – it shows you care about the person, have time for them and that they do not have to avoid things with you. Listening is an important skill. Ask open questions that start with “how”, “what”, “where” or “when”. This can help people open up.
- Act as you usually do together
Do what you usually do – behaving differently can make someone feel more isolated. Do not be afraid to offer kind words and a space to talk, whether by phone, messaging or in person. You will not always know the full story. There may be reasons why they have found it difficult to ask for help. Just being there can be helpful for someone who may want to open up later. Do not force someone to talk to you or get help, and do not go to a doctor on their behalf. This may lead to them feeling uncomfortable, with less power and less ability to speak for themselves.
- Understanding the support available
If you need help or are concerned about your health, then get in touch with a expert. While we can help to reduce your money worries, here are a number of specialist mental health organisations that may be able to support you:
- Campaign against living miserably (CALM) – is leading a movement against suicide. Speak to a member of the helpline team, call 0800 58 58 58
- SHOUT – the UK’s first 24/7 text service, which is free on all major mobile networks. It’s a place to go to if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. You can get in touch by texting 85258
- Samaritans – for anyone who needs to talk to somebody anytime they like, in their own way, and off the record – about whatever is getting to them. They don’t have to be suicidal. Call 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rethink Mental Illness – if you need practical help on issues such as mental health, community care, welfare benefits, medication or living with mental illness, contact Rethink Mental Illness by visiting their website to find your local branch
- MIND – advice and support for anyone who is suffering from mental health issues (depression, bi-polar, anxiety, suicide ideation, psychosis). Call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463
- Look after yourself
It can be upsetting to hear someone you care about in distress. Be kind to yourself and take some time to relax or do something you enjoy. You can also be there for them in other ways, like cooking for them, going for a walk or watching a film together. A chat may come more naturally if you are doing something together first.
Understanding the link between mental health and debt
Debt problems and poor mental health can often be closely intertwined. We understand 82% of people contacting Payplan for help with their debts said money worries were impacting their mental health at the time. So, as you can imagine, helping people to improve their mental health is a subject very close to our hearts.
If you’re worried about your finances or struggling to keep up with debt repayments, remember PayPlan’s here to help. You can access our help in a variety of ways including live chat via our website or by freephone on 0800 072 1206 or www.payplan.com/westmidlandspbfc