High bills are having a worrying effect on people’s mental health, according to a new report from Martin Lewis‘ Charity.
The Institute for Money and Mental Health Policy found that concerns about The cost of living crisis It drives people to think about suicide.
The report found that 17 percent of respondents had experienced suicidal thoughts in the past nine months due to financial concerns related to the high cost of items and daily bills.
Three in ten people surveyed in YouGov’s 2049 survey said they fell behind on at least one bill.
Harassment from debt collectors contributes to the mental health problems experienced by latecomers, with 11 percent of respondents saying they “dread” opening a job from energy companies, banks and other creditors.
The report calls on the government to prevent debt collectors from harassing people, as is the case in the United States.
There are no rules in the UK on how often debt collectors can call in arrears, while in the US it is limited to seven times a week.
The report also hopes that the National Suicide Prevention Strategy will be urgently updated to reflect the difficulties associated with the cost of living.
One survey respondent said he became reclusive after a debt collector called him seven times in seven hours, so he just stopped answering the phone at all.
Money-saving expert Martin Lewis, who spoke about his struggles with mental health, said: “The link between serious financial problems and suicidal thoughts has long been proven.
“So it is not surprising that the cost-of-living crisis, with the exponential increase in bills, against the backdrop of the pandemic, has added to the distress of some people.
He continued: “But the scale of this ordeal is particularly worrying, and it leaves serious concern about the impact on the number of people who may consider suicide. We know that being bombarded with letters, calls, and threats of legal action from debt collectors can lead people to feel hopeless and helpless and even contribute to people becoming suicidal.
“So the earlier specific protections are put in place to limit how and how debt collectors contact people about missed payments, the better — even the bastion of free markets, the USA, has stricter rules than we do.”
said Helen Andy, CEO of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute Watchman The government needs to learn from the mistakes made during the last recession when it comes to the link between mental health and financial concerns.
She said suicide rates increased in the previous recession and the government needed to act quickly this time around.
“There is rarely a single reason why someone is suicidal, but the barrage of letters and calls bombarding people with debt problems is clearly causing great distress,” she said.