StepChange Debt Charity: We’re stress relief!

posted by in Debtday, StepChange

mother and baby, (c) StepChange Debt Charity 2013

Get a bit of relief!

Recently we asked our clients to help us: could they suggest one word for how they felt before they came to us for help, and how they felt afterwards? The responses were overwhelming.

Over 4,200 people replied to our request, submitting hundreds of different words – luckily none of them abusive!

And unsurprisingly the clear winner in describing their situation before they contacted us was…

Stressed

Before people come to us they’re stressed. They’ve got banks and debt collectors calling them, overdue bills coming through the letterbox and very little spending money available. These worries grind people down, creating stress and anxiety. It’s no wonder debt is proven to impact on a person’s mental health.

The top five words used by our clients to describe how they felt before coming to us:

  1. Stressed
  2. Worried
  3. Overwhelmed
  4. Ashamed
  5. Desperate

After they’d spoken to us their situation had changed; the word they used to describe how they felt after contacting us was…

Relieved

We help people understand their problem, and give them advice to help them take the next step. Clients feel unburdened of all of their pent-up worries and stresses and more clear-minded, and this is showing in the relief they feel.

The top five words used by our clients to describe how they felt after coming to us:

  1. Relieved
  2. Supported
  3. Reassured
  4. Grateful
  5. I could sleep easier

These words (OK, one’s a phrase) are wonderful and we’re very proud to have received such superb praise.

To illustrate the top 20 words used by our clients to describe their situation before and after speaking to us, we created a wordcloud for our Changing Lives page.

Wordclouds are images, showing how many times words are used in selected text. The size of the word indicates the proportion of those who suggested it to describe their own experience.

Before contacting StepChange

The words used by clients before they had contacted StepChange Debt Charity

After contacting StepChange

The words used by clients after they had contacted StepChange Debt Charity

These responses reinforce what we hear from clients every day: we help relieve stress.

Peer's the digital content manager at StepChange Debt Charity. Apart from contributing to the MoneyAware blog and overseeing the charity's website and social media content, he’s walked to the top of every mountain and hill in the Lake District. Twice.

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