Study Highlights Links between Problem Debts and Suicide

December 7, 2018

People with problem debts are three times more likely to have considered suicide than those without those issues.

That’s according to a study carried out recently on behalf of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, which has said that financial difficulties are taking a “devastating mental toll” on many thousands of adults across Britain.

As many as 420,000 people with problem debts in England alone are believed to consider suicide each year and close to 100,000 are now understood to attempt to take their own life on an annual basis.

The figures are drawn from Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Surveys, with campaigners hoping that the stark numbers will raise awareness of just how difficult it can be to deal with problem debt situations.

Researchers have said that people often face a lethal combination of problem debts and mental health issues as a result of long-term factors such as persistently living in poverty or a general state of financial insecurity.

For others, the challenge of fending off creditors or being intimidated by debt collectors on a regular basis can be a trigger for serious mental health concerns and thoughts of suicide.

The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute has called for changes to the decades-old legislation that dictates the kind of language that creditors are obliged to use when communicating with debtors, which many people can find intimidating and distressing.

“The fact a law set decades ago doesn’t just allow companies to use intimidating language when collecting debt, but near forces them to do so, causes tragedy,” commented Martin Lewis, founder and chair of the institute behind the research.

“The last thing those struggling with debts need is a bunch of near thuggish letters dropping through the letterbox, in a language you can’t understand, threatening you with court action.

“And with such a tight link between mental health and debt crisis, we know many of the people receiving these letters are extremely vulnerable.”

If you live anywhere in Scotland and you are struggling to cope with your personal debts then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. You can call your nearest office any time to arrange a FREE and confidential consultation.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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