The cost-of-living crisis is having a bigger mental – and financial – effect on people now more than it ever has.
So, to mark World Suicide Prevention Day (10th September), we’ve teamed up with Samaritans, who are encouraging people not to be afraid to talk about suicidal thoughts and feelings if they are worried about someone.
With the cost of living rising sharply, following an incredibly challenging few years, people may find themselves or loved ones feeling more worried or anxious, and the UK’s leading suicide prevention charity is trying to reduce the stigma around suicide and urging people to look out for each other.
Evidence* shows that asking someone if they’re suicidal doesn’t make things worse, it can protect people, as it provides a crucial opportunity to open up, express their feelings and seek help.
To help initiate conversations around suicidal thoughts, Samaritans has suggested asking direct questions including ‘Have you thought about ending your life?’ and ‘Are you saying that you want to die?’ – you can find out more from Samaritans here.
The links between debt, money worries and mental health
Money and mental health are closely connected. We speak to thousands of people each year who are feeling depressed, guilty or hopeless about their finances.
We believe that mental health should not be overlooked and we’re here to help solve money worries. Above all else, we know how important it is to speak to someone when money problems arise.
We understand that poor mental health can mean that managing money is harder. Yet, worrying about money can worsen mental health. It can often feel like a catch-22 situation with no way out.
Feeling low or anxious is a normal response if someone is struggling with debt, but it can all too often be the case that those who are struggling financially see no end in sight to their debt and bills.
We’re committed to helping you to get your finances under control and help you to feel confident about managing money. And we know it works. We know that once we’ve spoken to our clients, over 93% say their mental wellbeing improved and stress levels reduced.
There are numerous ways you can support your loved ones during the cost-of-living crisis
While there is no straightforward answer when it comes to being there for your loved ones – especially during the cost-of-living crisis – we’ve broken down ways you can provide support into two categories.
- Asking what they need
- Offer compassion, provide reassurance and understanding
- Try and understand any Mental health conditions they may have to understand possible needs
- Offer company (invite a loved one for Sunday lunch etc)
- Are there any local support groups that could help with loneliness (knit and natter for example)
- Dropping a text, call or facetime – Keep in touch
- Teaching your kids about money
- Staying ahead of scammers
- Support them with the basics, rides, and appointments
- Helping to pay their bills and renewing any contracts etc
- Offer to look after any children to avoid any high childcare expenses
If you would like to start a confidential conversation about financial worries or problem debt, speak to one of our trained advisers, visit our website or speak to your employer representative today. Call PayPlan today on 0800 316 1833 or here.
You can also contact Samaritans, for free, 24/7, 365 days a year, by calling 116 123, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting http://www.samaritans.org.
* Dazzi, T., Gribble, R., Wessely, S., & Fear, N. (2014). Does asking about suicide and related behaviours induce suicidal ideation? What is the evidence? Psychological Medicine, 44(16), 3361-3363. doi:10.1017/S0033291714001299