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Mandy has been interviewed by the BBC

Meet Mandy

Mandy suffers from depression and anxiety, this contributed to a period of over-spending that led to spiralling levels of debt.

Mandy says, "I wanted to remain anonymous, but I'm happy to help show there is a way out."

How did your debt problem begin?

"I suffer from depression and anxiety, and this caused me to be in denial about how much my ex-husband and I were spending in order to try and give our children the happy childhood that neither of us had experienced. We re-mortgaged our house several times, and had numerous credit cards and loans." 

"Worrying about the debt was a big contributing factor to our marriage breaking down, and it was only then that the full extent of the situation became clear."

"When I became a StepChange Debt Charity client, I had £30,000 of debt."

Why did you want to become a media volunteer?

"I had already been with the charity for six years before I signed up to be a volunteer. Although I don’t really want my private life broadcast, I just thought that if I could help anybody and help to show how easy it is to get into high levels of debt then I would like to do that."

"There are so many problems for people today, especially for young people. I have sons aged 22 and 25, and if highlighting debt problems can push the politicians to do something for their generation, then that’s really important."

Was there anything about being a media volunteer that worried you?

"I’ve changed jobs recently, so I now need to make sure I’m not identified in any interviews I do, and I don’t want to do anything that could potentially make my anxieties worse. But there has never been an issue with me saying I don’t want to do certain things – it’s always a personal choice."

What has your experience been like so far?

"After the interview I did with the BBC, the media team said they got a great response, so I was really pleased about that."

"It’s made me realise how little there is out there, particularly about the links between debt and mental health. So that’s something I really want to see if I can get more involved with in the future."