Everyone recognises that money and mental health are connected. Whether you feel relatively content with your financial situation or you feel like you’re staring at a black hole financially, we all understand that when we experience money problems it affects our mental health.
For this topic we turn to some of the leading mental health and money advice charities and organisation in the UK
How and why do we get into debt
People who haven’t faced money issues, like debt, often wrongly think overspending or using credit recklessly is the main cause. According to the Mental Health Foundation having to adjust to a financial change is the biggest trigger for debt problems and the stress associated
Life changes such as losing your job, mental or physical health problems or separating from your partner can mean that you struggle to pay your household bills
Recognising the signs
- Does opening envelopes or interacting with official departments, such as the DWP and benefit services trigger anxiety and panic?
- Do you avoid calls from unknown numbers in case it’s a creditor calling?
- Worrying about money can lead to sleep problems
- Money problems affect your social life and relationships. Sometimes leading to loneliness and feeling isolated
- Do you often feel anxious when thinking about how you will manage repayments?
Do you spend money to make you feel better?
There are lots of examples of the vicious money and mental health cycles. Stress leads someone to spend money for relief, but it results in more debt, compounding their stress.
Mind, the mental health charity, provides some practical advice
- Tell someone you trust about the warning signs you might be overspending, or signs you’re struggling with your mental health
- Don’t save your card details into websites
- Delete apps where you usually overspend, or apps which encourage you to spend
- If you get tempted by adverts on social media, limit how much time you spend on it
- Find ways to delay purchasing. You could tell yourself, “I will buy this tomorrow if I still feel like it then”. You could take photographs of the things you want or write them down in a wish list
- Distract yourself with something else that makes you feel good
- Consider telling your bank or financial institutes that you have a mental health problem. They may be able to add a note to your file to look out for unusual spending. See this information on telling your bank you have a mental health problem
How do I get help?
If you have an issue that is causing you concern regarding your PCCU account then we urge you to contact the credit union and the member solutions team. The earlier you do this, the more likely we can help you. If you find it difficult to discuss your current situation on the telephone we have the secure Nivo app, in a familiar format like WhatsApp.
Talk to someone you trust too, whether that’s a friend, relative or someone supporting you with your mental health. Talking can help you feel less hopeless and alone, and they may be able to offer a different perspective or signpost to organisation for help.
The Citizen Advice website has an incredible rich section on Debt and Money. Covering everything from debt, budgeting, borrowing, banking to help with gambling problems.
Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert, has produced a Mental Health & Debt guide booklet in collaboration with Mind, Rethink, CAP UK and others. The guide is designed to help those experiencing mental health problems and want to tackle their finances. The free downloadable guide is 44 pages long however you can find a break down of the 5 sections on this page.