In our latest case study, we caught up with our client Ellie, who wanted to share her story in order to help other people who were struggling with bipolar disorder and their debts, to encourage them to reach out to PayPlan for help in their time of need.
Ellie first came to PayPlan in August last year. The reasons for her contacting us for help was that she’d been feeling very suicidal and unstable, and these feelings were being triggered by her finances.
Ellie is living with bipolar disorder and was signposted to us by one of our trusted partners, Bipolar UK. She works as a self-employed gardener and had decided on this profession as she felt it would help with her mental health.
Unfortunately, due to the increase in her expenses because of the cost-of-living crisis, Ellie’s work had been slowing down and she had no other choice but to apply for benefit support.
She found that the downturn in work was affecting her mental health further and she was struggling with getting out of bed in the morning, amongst other things.
She’d been rejected for a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and this, combined with the increased cost of living, had resulted in her receiving £510 less income each month.
She felt there was never going to be a way out and for a month, we lost total contact with her. For Ellie, the fear of increasing living costs was adding to her worry and building on her perception of there being no way out.
What we did
Firstly, we discussed with Ellie about how she copes with bipolar disorder on a day-to-day basis as we wanted to understand if there was anything we could do further to support her with this.
Through conversation, we knew this was having a real impact on her ability to do daily tasks like taking her dog for a walk. Her PayPlan adviser set to work looking into more localised help that could support Ellie.
The adviser turned to a website called Hub of Hope and called them to find out more about what they could offer. Ellie’s adviser was delighted to discover they ran weekly support meetings just seven miles from Ellie’s home. Hub of Hope advised that they’d be able to connect Ellie with other people suffering from bipolar disorder and that they’d also help her reapply for PIP.
Whilst this progressed, PayPlan approached Ellie’s creditors to ask if they would consider writing off her debt, knowing that her situation was unlikely to improve anytime soon. They also applied for Breathing Space to give Ellie some respite from contact from people she owed money to.
Looking to the future
As a result of the combined efforts of Ellie, Bipolar UK, PayPlan and Hub of Hope, we achieved debt write-off for Ellie – with her creditors acknowledging she wasn’t in a position to clear her debts and the impact this was having on her mental health.
Ellie said of her experience with PayPlan: “My bounce back loan was written off last week and the account will close at the beginning of next month. With that, all my debt has now been written off.
“You have absolutely no idea the huge benefit this has had on my health, and it’s all down to you. The relief I feel now and the space it has freed up in my mind, I can’t put into words.
“Thank you so much for all the kindness you have shared when I’ve needed it the most and your patience and persistence following all this through for me.
“You’re incredible and I will never forget what you have done for me.”