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Mental Health and Debt – A Toxic Relationship

The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute has recently published the results of a large study into the relationship between mental health and finances.

It is the largest study of its kind and analyses information and details from 5,500 people who have lived with mental health problems. The study has found that money and mental health are heavily interlinked, with mental health problems making it more difficult to manage your finances and living in financial stress harming your mental health.

The study found that more than 72% of those surveyed said that their mental health problems has made their financial situation worse, while almost all (92%) find it harder to make financial decisions, with 59% agreeing to borrow more via a loan that they wouldn’t otherwise have done.

Of those who did take out new credit, more than a third (38%) stated that their mental health at the time left them unable to remember the terms and conditions of the loan and the information they had been given about it. And when unwell 74% put off paying bills and 71% avoid dealing with creditors, with 53% ending up seriously behind on payments for at least one bill or loan.

Martin Lewis, who set up The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, stated that one of the reasons this has grown to such a large problem is because “there are two taboos: People won’t talk about money and they won’t talk about mental health problems. The point of this is trying to break these taboos. The two feed off each other. Let’s normalise this in a good way.”


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