Charity supports mental health through debt help
A church-based debt centre is highlighting the importance of reaching out for debt help on World Suicide Prevention Day
Edinburgh Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centres help their clients deal with the pressures of debt, restoring hope to peoples’ lives.
They are supporting World Suicide Prevention Day on Friday 10 September with the theme of creating hope through action.
Melanie Kilburn, CAP Edinburgh West Debt Centre Manager, said: “Suicide is a highly sensitive issue which requires a lot of tact and grace to deal with.
“Often people who are in a desperate situation financially are referred to CAP by medical professionals so that while they’re getting support with mental health, we are able to help clients fight their way out from underneath the burden of debt.”
CAP clients were asked about their lives before they got debt help:
- Suicidal - over a quarter (28%) considered or attempted suicide before seeking debt help
- Trapped - over half (58%) felt trapped in poverty with nobody to turn to when they had a problem
Across the UK as a whole, the two main reasons stated for people falling into debt were low income (20%) and mental health (18%).
The charity said many people across Edinburgh have been feeling isolated due to debt.
“Add to this the pandemic and mental ill-health and it is easy to see why access to free debt help on the doorstep here in Edinburgh is so essential,” Kilburn added.
The CAP team of staff and volunteers are reaching out to anyone in our community who may be struggling with unmanageable debt and feelings of anxiety, isolation or loneliness due to unmanageable debt.
Mark Harris, CAP Edinburgh North Debt Centre Manager, said: “We know that it may seem like a big step to make that first call for help but I would urge anyone who needs it to be brave and take that action.
“If you need support with your mental health then make the call to get help from a mental health professional. If you are worried about unmanageable debt, need help getting back to work or want to learn some important life skills that will put you in control of where your money goes then we can help you with all of those at our Friday CAP Club which runs from 10.30am every Friday.”