Day 27 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. I wanted to have a think about how mental health can impact on our financial wellbeing, and vice versa. I was looking around and found the following article from Martin Lewis of Moneysavingexpert.com. I think this article serves as a good introduction to the issue; hopefully, this will be something I think about a little more here on the blog before the 40 days is up.
Don’t forget, if you have a story, I’d still love to hear from you. The following is taken straight from Moneysavingexpert.com where you can view the full article and really helpful resource guide here.
A message from Martin
Be under no illusions. Mental health problems can cause severe debt, and severe debt can cause mental health problems.
Debt isn’t just a financial problem, it causes relationships to break up, people to lose their homes and families to break down. No matter who you are, it can be hell.
For many living with mental health issues, debt is a common problem. My usual line is we should focus on being responsible borrowers, as you can’t expect lenders to be responsible – their job is flogging debt.
A few years ago, I had my eyes opened. A man came up to thank me for the MoneySavingExpert.com website. I asked him if he’d saved much money, and his answer surprised me:
“I don’t use it for myself. I’m a mental health case worker, and almost every one of my clients has debt issues. It’s tough for them to control many areas of their life. I use your site to help them sort through their problems.”
This is the crux. How do we help those who are unable to be responsible for themselves? It is not always easy to be responsible for yourself – and the easy credit years created a potential disaster scenario.
Since then I’ve heard that story echoed time and time again. I pitched the idea to TV outlets several times, only to be told it doesn’t resonate with enough people.
That’s wrong. Many people have either had issues or have a family member who has. Yet it’s not right to simply stop anyone with mental health issues getting credit. Often issues are temporary, and, even if not, debt isn’t bad, bad debt is bad. A rational decision to borrow cheaply is fine. Mortgages, student loans and more are an integral part of the modern financial world.
While describing the problem is easy, the solutions aren’t. I wish I could promise this guide will solve them. It won’t, though it should help make things easier to understand and deal with.
Here’s the brilliant Mental Health & Debt Guide written by Martin Lewis which offers support and advice around this really important issue. It’s also a great resource for those supporting individuals with mental health and debt problems.