Bronwen Dalley Smith, Communications and Events Assistant for the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, has written a guest post to tell us about the work they’re doing to support people dealing with debt and mental health problems.
Last year, nearly 600,000 people turned to StepChange Debt Charity for debt advice. That’s more than one person every minute of every day, throughout the whole of 2016. While this was StepChange’s highest yearly record to date, they were able to help.
At the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute we regularly talk to people who are getting their finances back on track with the help of StepChange Debt Charity. Yet, as a research charity exploring the link between financial difficulty and mental health, we couldn’t help but be concerned by this figure.
Half of British adults with a debt problem also have a mental health problem, so it can be assumed that nearly 300,000 of those who contacted StepChange last year were also struggling with poor mental health. The two are so closely entwined, that it is often impossible to identify which is the cause and which is the effect.
Did you know that money worries are one of the biggest causes of stress in a relationship? One plus One has released a series of videos that look at real couples’ stories about being in debt, how it affects relationships and how they got back on track.
One plus One is a charity dedicated to helping people build stronger relationships. They’ve recently been exploring the different reasons couples might get in debt, as well as the stresses that they experienced including working longer hours, spending less, and not being able to socialise.
During their research they discovered that:
55% of couples include money worries in top three relationship strains
Getting just three months behind on your bills can have a negative impact on your family life
Debt is the number one problem area for newly married couples
Have you experienced relationship problems as a result of money worries? Do any of these situations feel familiar to you?
Losing a job – ‘The breadwinner’
Having a baby – ‘The pay cut’
Borrowing too much – ‘The rollercoaster’
Having more fun than you can afford – ‘The tycoon’
What can we learn from the stories?
Don’t hide money problems from your partner – it can be damaging to your relationship
Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no.2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.