Mental Health Awareness Week takes place each year in May. We all understand that it is important to look after your mental health, but how do we do this?

There are many physical warning signs that you may be struggling with your mental health. You may experience headaches, mood swings, and general disruption to your daily life. Simple tasks may suddenly feel overwhelming or impossible such as speaking on the phone or even getting out of bed.

At PayPlan, 1 in 10 of our clients is classed as a vulnerable client, and we deal with a range of mental health issues from depression, bipolar disorder to other stress related conditions. Although you may be suffering with some symptoms of mental health issues, they aren’t always severe and you may not even be diagnosed.

Reach out

The most important step to take if you are struggling with mental health issues is to speak to someone.

Speaking to a family member, friend, or even an impartial third party such as mental health charity Mind or the Samaritans can help you relieve some of those negative feelings you may be experiencing.

If you feel your symptoms are disrupting your daily life, it is worth considering reaching out to your local GP. It’s important to work closely with your GP to ensure you receive the right support; however, there is also financial help available to help alleviate the stress.

Check your benefits

If your condition means you struggle to work, you could be eligible for Employment Support Allowance. You will need to undertake a series of tests, including the Work Capability Assessment – and you may be able to receive financial assistance if you work fewer than 16 hours and earn less than £131.50 a week.

Navigating the benefits system is sometimes difficult, especially when you are feeling vulnerable, so try to seek support from a friend, family member or via local branches of Mind and Citizens Advice.

Getting help

Sometimes it can be daunting or embarrassing to admit that you need help, and take that first step to resolving your problems.

If you are struggling with mental health issues as a result of money worries, or financial strain then there are plenty of self-help guides online, such as budgeting templates, or tools to help work out your income and expenditure.

PayPlan offers free, impartial debt advice to anyone who needs it. Our advisers are open, friendly and non-judgemental. For more information visit or visit our Facebook and Twitter pages!