The impact of debt on mental health and how to support loved ones that are struggling with debt

20o March 2023

Debt can have a big impact on mental health, causing stress, anxiety and depression. It’s a complex and sensitive issue that can be difficult to talk about, but it’s essential to understand the link between debt and mental health and how to provide support to loved ones who are struggling with money worries.

Read on to learn the best ways to be an ally, and offer practical support to someone dealing with financial hardship.

The link between debt and mental health

It's no secret that financial stress can negatively impact people's mental health. When debt is added to the mix, the pressure can be overwhelming. Debt can cause anxiety, depression, and even physical symptoms like headaches and insomnia. It's important to remember that the impact of debt on mental health can vary from person to person, and everyone's experience is different.

Signs of someone struggling with mental health

It's not always easy to tell when someone is struggling with mental health, especially when it's related to financial stress, as these struggles continue to be associated with shame and guilt. Often, someone might have struggled financially for a long period before they consider opening up about their problems.

However, there are some signs to look out for that might indicate that someone you know is struggling with their mental health. You may notice changes in their behaviour or mood, withdrawing from social situations, having trouble concentrating on everyday tasks or having less energy than normal. Increased alcohol or drug use might also be a sign that someone is dealing with mental health struggles and using this as a coping mechanism.

Supporting loved ones with money worries

Going through financial difficulties can be very isolating and it’s important for people going through this to know that they are not alone. Showing your support for someone who is struggling with debt can be a great way to provide some much-needed emotional relief during a difficult time.

You can also offer practical support, such as helping them to create a budget or find ways to reduce their expenses or help them seek out advice from qualified professionals. Finally, it's important to remind your loved one that their worth is not defined by their financial situation and that it’s never too late to start taking steps towards improving their financial situation and debt management.

Support with money worries

If you or someone you know are experiencing money worries, you’re not alone. There are plenty of free and independent advice services available to support and help make things more manageable. Just visit the websites below:

StepChange provides free debt advice to help you deal with your debt and set up a solution. We’re here to help you.

Citizens Advice
Citizens Advice offers free and confidential advice for debt and money management, benefits, housing and other life areas.

MoneyHelper is a free service provided by the Money and Pensions Service, sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Turn2us is a national charity providing help for those who are struggling financially.

Our support team at Wave, BetterBorrow and LiveLend are always here to help if you're a customer that's currently experiencing money worries. Just log in to your account and get in touch with our team and we’ll help you the best way we can.