Money and mental health: let’s talk about it

Nine in ten people locally say money problems have impacted their mental health. That is something, in Mental Health Awareness Week, EastDevonNews.co.uk wants to highlight.

Running until Saturday (October 12) the national event has spawned the launched of Every Mind Matters.

This is a new way of empowering people to manage and improve their mental health, launched by Public Health England (PHE), in partnership with the NHS and TSB.

Every Mind Matters shows people the simple steps they can take to be better prepared for life’s ups and downs.

Let’s face it, there will always be plenty of those!

The new resource, which has been endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RGCP), will enable people to create a personalised action plan recommending a simple set of self-care actions to deal with stress, boost mood, improve sleep and feel more in control.

The announcement comes as TSB releases new research that reveals more than half (58 per cent) of people living in the South West have experienced money related issues, with 89 per cent saying it has impacted their mental health.

The findings reveal that 83 per cent of people living in the South West with money issues have experienced stress (59 per cent), anxiety (48 per cent), depression (29 per cent) and low self-esteem (31 per cent) as a result of financial pressures.

Three in five (60 per cent) said that poor mental health can make it more difficult to manage finances.

Of those who have experienced mental health issues,a third (32 per cent) having experienced difficulty coping with and managing change and uncertainty and a fifth (22 per cent) experiencing difficulty in forming and maintaining good relationships with others.

According to the Money and Mental Health policy institute, almost one in five (18 per cent) people with mental health problems have financial worries.

money

You are not alone.

People experiencing mental health problems are three and a half times more likely to be in problem debt than people without mental health problems (five per cent).

TSB’s data also shows that 16 per cent of people living in the South West say they worry about money on a daily basis. Top worries include ‘worrying about not being able to make ends meet’ (29 per cent), ‘feeling overwhelmed about paying off debt’ (26 per cent), being able to pay bills (27 per cent) and ‘not being able to afford the lifestyle they want’ (47 per cent).

Neil Mitchell, Head of Vulnerable Customers at TSB, says: “If you are having money worries then you should always seek help and advice. There are a number of organisations who can help you, including your bank or building society, so never be afraid to talk to someone. Take one step at a time to help you get back on track.”

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, says: “Our health is affected by our circumstances, including having a job, friends and a roof over our heads. Anxiety, stress, low mood and trouble sleeping can affect everyone. Every Mind Matters aims to help people to better handle life’s ups and downs.”

Help for mental health and money

EastDevonNews.co.uk advises anyone worried about money to contact debt charity StepChange. If you need emotional support, contact Mind or Sane.  If you are worried about yourself or someone you know, contact the Samaritans. All the organisations we recommend are non-judgemental and exist solely to support people going through exactly what you are going through.

Remember, you are not alone. Everyone feels just like you at some stage in their life. Caring, understanding help is available to support you through this difficult time.

Other tips:

  • TSB recommends you talk to your financial provider. It says, there will be ways they can help if they understand your situation.
  • Think about who else can support you. If you’re not feeling up to it, most financial organisations will allow a nominated person to act on your behalf if you make arrangements with them.
  • Keep communication open and ongoing with your financial provider and help them to understand how you prefer them to communicate with you in the future.

Remember that help is always available.

 

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