With nearly 10 million people put on furlough since the start of the scheme last year and more than 395,000 redundancies between September and November, many are feeling the financial strain of coronavirus.
Dr. Thomas Richardson, who is a clinical psychologist in the Mental Health Recovery Teams at St. Mary’s Hospital in Milton for Solent NHS, told The News that it is important to try reduce the impact of money problems on mental health as it can turn into a ‘vicious cycle’.
He said: ‘The last year has been hard for many, and one reason it has been so difficult is the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether being made redundant, furloughed, or being self-employed or owning a business, the recession from the lockdown has made money problems sadly even more common.
If you are worrying about money know that you are not alone as the average adult in the UK no owes nearly £4,000 in unsecured debt.
‘Unfortunately for many it can become a vicious cycle. Those worries about money impact mental health, this then makes it harder to keep on top of your finances, so the debt builds up.
‘There are many factors that link money problems with poor mental health. How much you worry and stress about debt is important. How hopeful you feel about your finances improving and how ashamed you feel about struggling to make ends meet also matter.
‘How much you feel you can change your financial situation and trying to be active in making these changes can also make a difference.’
Dr Richardson’s top tips for dealing with money worries:
- Talk to someone. Friends, family, colleagues, a professional. Knowing you are not alone and getting it off your chest will help.
- Try to take some small steps to get on top of your finances, such as opening a bill you have been avoiding, ringing your bank or making a budget.
- Try to take things one day at a time and be more present. Here are some mindful exercises which might help reduce your money worries tinyurl.com/rx6ed5t
- If you are worried about your mental health, talk to your GP, or you can self- refer to Talking Change (https://www.talkingchange.nhs.uk/, 0300 123 3934, [email protected]).
- Talk to a professional for debt advice. Visit portsmouth.gov.uk/money for a list of sources that can help.