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Debt and mental health problems affect tens of thousands

15 May, 2013

StepChange Debt Charity is raising concerns over the numbers of people with debt problems who may also be suffering with mental health issues.

In 2012, an average of 5,000 people per month who used the charity’s online debt counselling service were identified as potentially suffering from anxiety or depression. The findings are being released in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Week.

In 2011, the charity launched its Wellbeing tool. Clients using its online counselling tool, StepChange Debt Remedy, are asked a series of trigger questions, these help to identify whether the client may be suffering with anxiety or depression. Clients are then offered the opportunity to use the Wellbeing tool which helps to establish the severity of any potential illness. 

Last year, out of those people who completed the Wellbeing survey, 58 percent were identified as suffering with severe anxiety or depression, 27.2 percent had moderate anxiety or depression, while 12.8 percent were identified as having mild anxiety or depression.

“Debt and mental health issues can have a debilitating effect on people’s lives, but getting help thorough organisations like StepChange Debt Charity can play an important role in addressing the financial problems that may be either the cause or effect of mental health problems”.

Dr Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said:

“We’re delighted to have the support of StepChange Debt Charity for our Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s thanks to the support of hundreds of organisations like StepChange Debt Charity that we are able to raise awareness of mental health problems with a wider audience, to fight against stigma and discrimination and help everyone to live mentally healthier lives.”

For further information visit the StepChange Debt Charity's debt in mind page.

Contact the the StepChange news team on:

Tel: 0207 391 4598

Mobile: 07950 469 101

Email: press@stepchange.org

Follow our press team on Twitter: @StepChange