Grantham-based debt advice provider PayPlan, says that the recent publicity around mental health problems has been instrumental in helping those in debt to open up about their challenges.
Client support specialist, Emma Gibbons, believes that events like World Mental Health Day (today) and the Royal-backed Heads Together campaign are finally removing the stigma around conditions like depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
She said: “Since November last year, our advisers have seen more than 1000 new vulnerable people contacting us about their debts, prepared to speak openly about their issues. Over the last 18 months this number is increasing month on month.”
“From this group, 43 per cent suffer from a mental illness, up from 39 per cent in November last year. While these figures look alarming, I believe that it is a positive thing as people increasingly feel more comfortable discussing mental health with us and its impact on their finances, instead of suffering in silence. There’s still a lot more work to be done until we remove the stigma completely, but we certainly seem to be moving in the right direction.”
Her comments were echoed by Fiona Bonser, a volunteer listener at the Samaritans.
She said: “One in two adults with debts have a mental health problem. Being able to be open and honest is a big step and can be daunting. The training that PayPlan has provided, including awareness from Samaritans, means clients can be confident that they’ll be heard and understood.”
For more information, visit www.payplan.com