'Mental Health and Debt: True Bravery' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's 'Mental Health and Debt: True Bravery' blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.
Click reply to discuss below.
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  • DizieDizie Forumite
    70 Posts
    Very much looking forward to reading the guide. I suffer from depression and have done on and off for many years, including a horrific period of post natal depression a few years ago. Its so encouraging to read about organisations such as Mind getting actively involved in issues such as debt problems to help those who are so vulnerable.

    Well done Martin for backing such a worthwhile event.
  • LadyMorticiaLadyMorticia Forumite
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    I think it's great that Martin is involved with mind week. I am a member of a regional branch of mind and the work they do is brilliant. This week we are having a speaker come in to talk about debt and the effects it has on mental health. I'll let you all know how it goes.

    xx
    2019 Wins
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  • KGM_2KGM_2 Forumite
    31 Posts
    For anyone who feels inclined, here's a link to Mind's donation page:

    http://www.mind.org.uk/How+you+can+help+us/Donate/
  • fermifermi Forumite
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    I'm going to be interested in the guide as well. I'm very pleased that Martin is taking such a personal interest in this area. :)

    I've just posted a thread on Debt-Free Wannabe linking back to this discussion and the blog articles HERE.
    Free/impartial debt advice: National Debtline | StepChange Debt Charity | Find your local CAB

    IVA & fee charging DMP companies: Profits from misery, motivated ONLY by greed
  • purple12purple12 Forumite
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    I really hope it isn't just the psychiatrists (as stated in the post) that will be involved in providing information as experts about managing debt. The expertise of psychiatrists lies primarily in diagnosis and management/medication rather than addressing social issues such as debt so I thinik the involvement of social care professionals, CPNs, support workers and advocates will provide a better mix of 'experts' to input into a discussion paper.
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    purple12 wrote: »
    I really hope it isn't just the psychiatrists (as stated in the post) that will be involved in providing information as experts about managing debt. The expertise of psychiatrists lies primarily in diagnosis and management/medication rather than addressing social issues such as debt so I thinik the involvement of social care professionals, CPNs, support workers and advocates will provide a better mix of 'experts' to input into a discussion paper.

    It's not a discussion paper - its an information and help guide. We have the best specialists on the interaction of debt and mental health plus of course this is an MSE guide which I'll be editing and writing sections of alogn with my team on debt.

    Martin :)
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
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  • Hi,

    I have just read Martin's blog and the Mind 'In the Red' article. I am still emotional now. My husband and I have tried for many many months to get our creditors to 'understand' my mental health problems without success.

    I have been diagnosed with mainly with clinical depression, anxiety, social phobia. I have had these issues for years but was brought to the point of a nervous breakdown 2 years ago through the harrassment and aggressive debt collection tactics of some of the bigger high street lenders.

    I never tried to get out of paying what I owe, as we spent the money (however, often it was just to buy food etc) but as I was no longer working and our income was reduced, we went onto a DMP and our creditors (19 of them) were offered payments of £5 per month each.
    I desperately wanted to get back into work, but the pressure of constant harrassing phonecalls and unsympathetic and often downright rude and aggressive 'customer service agents' sent me deeper and deeper into depression, therefore minimising my confidence and ability to work which in turn impacted on our finances.

    We now owe over £50,000 (the debt is rising as one high street lender is again adding almost £250 per month interest on.....we have tried discussing this with them and they say there is nothing they can do, however I have written a formal complaint now, not only about this but also about the rudeness of their staff after I had informed them I was suffering mental health problems....'yeah right...heard that one before' was their attitude!).

    I just wish I could make them understand we would pay more if we could, but we can't. I now refuse to deal with any creditors by phone (I got to the point where hearing the phone ring brought on instant panic, shaking, crying etc). I have recently been awarded DLA because of my mental health problems, but rather than that allowing me to increase the payments to my credtors, it just allows us to raise our food budget for 3 of us from £130 per month to a more reasonable (and healthy) amount.

    I don't really know where I am going with this post, or even if my reply to this thread was the right place to post, but I totally agree with the Mind report, and its recommendations, and I hope both they and Martin can help raise awareness of these issues.

    So many people suffer mental health issues to some degree, and being in debt at the same time is a black pit of despair. I'm still trying to see the light!

    mjjj
    LBM April 2006-19 creditors, £47,000, After 2 yrs £50,000 After 3yrs £45,373 DFW long haul supporters #101 Reclaimed: Halifax -£1566 & £448 PPI, Marbles/HFC -£200, Barclays -£409, Morgan Stanley -£129 + £933 PPI, Cap 1 -£493, Argos -£120. Studio -£76, Citi-£155, FOS- MBNA, GE/Santander x2, Shop Direct x2. Total - £4589.31!!
  • Mrs_pbradley936Mrs_pbradley936 Forumite
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    I started this thread last year:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=415196

    It might be useful.
  • richonedayrichoneday Forumite
    134 Posts
    mojo-jojo wrote: »
    Hi,

    I have just read Martin's blog and the Mind 'In the Red' article. I am still emotional now. My husband and I have tried for many many months to get our creditors to 'understand' my mental health problems without success.

    I have been diagnosed with mainly with clinical depression, anxiety, social phobia. I have had these issues for years but was brought to the point of a nervous breakdown 2 years ago through the harrassment and aggressive debt collection tactics of some of the bigger high street lenders.

    I never tried to get out of paying what I owe, as we spent the money (however, often it was just to buy food etc) but as I was no longer working and our income was reduced, we went onto a DMP and our creditors (19 of them) were offered payments of £5 per month each.
    I desperately wanted to get back into work, but the pressure of constant harrassing phonecalls and unsympathetic and often downright rude and aggressive 'customer service agents' sent me deeper and deeper into depression, therefore minimising my confidence and ability to work which in turn impacted on our finances.

    We now owe over £50,000 (the debt is rising as one high street lender is again adding almost £250 per month interest on.....we have tried discussing this with them and they say there is nothing they can do, however I have written a formal complaint now, not only about this but also about the rudeness of their staff after I had informed them I was suffering mental health problems....'yeah right...heard that one before' was their attitude!).

    I just wish I could make them understand we would pay more if we could, but we can't. I now refuse to deal with any creditors by phone (I got to the point where hearing the phone ring brought on instant panic, shaking, crying etc). I have recently been awarded DLA because of my mental health problems, but rather than that allowing me to increase the payments to my credtors, it just allows us to raise our food budget for 3 of us from £130 per month to a more reasonable (and healthy) amount.

    I don't really know where I am going with this post, or even if my reply to this thread was the right place to post, but I totally agree with the Mind report, and its recommendations, and I hope both they and Martin can help raise awareness of these issues.

    So many people suffer mental health issues to some degree, and being in debt at the same time is a black pit of despair. I'm still trying to see the light!

    mjjj

    I really wish you all the best with everything and think you are so brave to be posting this. It is such a hidden topic. My husband has had severe incapacitating depression for years now and we have changed from being a very comfortably off family to one that like yourselves has been fighting debt collectors. Although having much better days at the moment my husband still cannot open letters or answer the phone if it is a number he doesn't know. I am dreaming of the day when there is legilslation that restricts the number of calls and letters banks and credit card companies and debt collectors are allowed to make to chase debt. They don't realise that their harrassment can push someone who is already depressed to breaking point. THANK YOU MARTIN for being behind the campaign.
  • allenxallenx Forumite
    81 Posts
    I totally emphathise with you, hope all goes well. You must open the letters and deal with it tho, even if phoning and saying you cant afford it, can you pay a fiver a week. Make a cuppa and get a pen and paper before you phone, take a deep breath and before you know it....... its never as bad as you think it will be. The weight will be off your shoulders, its being dealt with. Thinking of you xxx
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