Research Highlights “Devastating Link” Between Debt and Mental Health

October 12, 2017

Researchers working with the Money Advice Service (MAS) have looked into connections between troublesome debts and mental health issues, with money worries emerging as a major cause of concern for millions of Brits.

Very nearly half (49 per cent) of all adults in the UK are in some form of debt, with the average debt burden, excluding mortgages and student loans, being worth £4,374, according to MAS’ figures.

Worryingly, a fifth of people would go as far as to describe themselves as “drowning in debt”, with a third of those in debt suggesting that their money worries have been a source of stress or depression.

Meanwhile, mental health problems are also a cause of financial problems for many people, with 10 per cent of British adults in debt indicating that poor mental health has made it more difficult for them to manage their money and their debts.

Mood swings and lack of sleep are also common problems for people with persistent debt problems, MAS’ research makes clear.

Furthermore, roughly one in six people with debt problems have apparently found that their financial concerns have affected their relationship with their partner.

Simon Crine from the Money and Mental Health Institute has described the link between mental health and debt as being “devastating” and said that rising personal debt levels across the UK presents a “real threat to our, already overburdened, mental health system”.

“Debt isn’t just a financial problem, it can cause real damage to relationships and family, put the roof over your head at risk and can leave you feeling a shadow of your former self,” said John Penberthy-Smith, customer director at MAS.

“As our research shows debt can impact all aspects of your life – from laying awake at night, feeling anxious and withdrawn to overeating or turning to alcohol.

“No matter how bad it seems and how bad you are feeling – no money problems are unsolvable.”

MAS was initially established by the UK government but now operates on an independent basis. The organisation published a report in September which suggested there are close to 8.3 million men and women throughout the UK who can be considered to be in ‘problem debt’.

If you live anywhere in Scotland and you are struggling to cope with your debt problems then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. Contact us directly to arrange a free and confidential consultation.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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