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Financial stress ‘biggest cause of mental health issues’

Debt and loss of income are major concerns

Three quarters of Brits believe financial stresses contribute more than anything else to mental health issues, a survey shows.

The poll of 2,200 people by Holloway Friendly found debt (61%) was the top financial worry, followed by income disappearing (55%) and bill payments (51%).

Financial worries were followed by career woes (15%) and relationship troubles (6%).

Of all respondents, four fifths (81%) said financial worries had negatively affected the relationships in their lives.  

When asked whether they had sought support for their financial or mental health woes, just one in 10 said they had.

The survey also asked what could be done to help people who are struggling with financial worries. It found 58% stated that they would like online mental health resources and 52% said they would feel more comfortable if their banks offered greater support to those in difficulty.

Georgia d’Esterre, head of marketing at Holloway Friendly, warned that debt can have a hugely negative impact on relationships with family and friends as well as messing with people’s own mental health.

“People may feel overly anxious, depressed or like they can’t cope with their financial issues and try to treat these feelings with alcohol, drugs, binge eating or completely burying their heads in the sand,” he said. “But no money woes are impossible to fix. Seek help from medical professionals if you are feeling down and remember there are steps to take which can prevent some worries, such as income protection, saving plans and pension schemes.”