In the last year and a half, millions of people have been on leave after companies were forced to close in a lockdown, leaving them unable to work – while other companies completely collapsed, leading to unemployment for many.
Concerns about sky-high energy bills and rising food prices are also playing their part in exacerbating money worries, amid reports that many may have to choose between “warming up or eating” during the winter months.
If things get so bad that it affects your mental health and makes you unable to cope, where can you get the help and support you need?
How to deal with financial worries
If you are already struggling with your mental health, it can make it more challenging to make and manage money.
According to Mind, this can lead to a vicious circle where worries about money can also have a negative effect on your mental health.
Fortunately, there is support out there, and there are plenty of places that can help you budget, manage debt, and support you as you try to keep your finances on track.
The NHS has offered the following advice if you are struggling with financial stress:
Stay active – keep in touch with people, keep your resume updated, and try to keep paying your bills. Exercise can also help and they have given advice on how to stay active for free while having a low income.
Stick to your daily routine – get up at your normal time and stick to your routine – also make sure you eat regular meals at the usual times. Also, do not drink too much alcohol as it may increase your stress.
Face your fears – Get advice on how to prioritize your debt. Facing the situation instead of trying to avoid it will make it easier to resolve.
The Mind website also has helpful tips on how to keep a budget – their tips include making a list of all the essentials you need to spend money on, such as rent, bills and food, by using cash instead of cards for to keep track of your spending and check your bank balance at a fixed, fixed time.
Above all, if you have financial problems, you should seek help as soon as possible – the longer you leave it, the worse it is likely to get.
Where to get help with debt and money management
Citizens Advice Bureau is always a good place to start if you are looking for help with debt or money management.
They can offer advice on everything from debt consolidation – including bankruptcy advice, individual voluntary schemes and mortgage concerns, to doing what you need to do if you are unable to pay your bills because of Covid.
They also have a very helpful section on how to ensure that your dismissal is reasonable if you find yourself in a dismissal situation.
This is especially useful for those who may find themselves in this situation in the wake of the pandemic, as you can check how much money you can qualify for and what your options are going forward.
Equifax also offers a comprehensive section on how to handle debt, including how to make a debt management plan that will help you pay what you owe.
For those dealing with money worries and mental health issues, the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute – a charity founded by MoneySavingExperts Martin Lewis – offers helpful advice.
Meanwhile, Mental Health UK is also a useful source of information that offers, among other things, a downloadable money and mental health tool for those who want to improve their financial situation.
StepChange debt charity is another organization that can help people manage their debt, provide free confidential advice and provide the best solution for you depending on your circumstances.
You can also sign up for their free ‘7 Days 7 Ways’ program to help you regain control of your finances.
MORE: Delayed and desperate: People get into debt to pay for private health care as NHS waiting lists skyrocket
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