Scots in debt during pandemic say 'mental health has been affected'

A majority of adults in debt or at risk of debt said their money issues had negatively impacted their mental health.

Scots in debt during coronavirus pandemic say ‘mental health has been affected’ iStock

More than three quarters of Scots blighted by debt during the pandemic say their mental health has taken a toll for the worse, a new poll has found.

Some 77% of adults in debt or at risk of debt since the pandemic began have said their money issues had negatively impacted on their mental health, according to a survey Citizens Advice Scotland.

Sarah-Jayne Dunn, financial health spokesperson, said that the “vicious link between financial pressures and mental wellbeing is something we should all understand”.

“Money worries and mental health issues often go hand in hand with emotional stress often being the cause and consequence of financial stress,” she said.

The YouGov survey asked 1001 Scots, of which 197 said they had taken on more debt or the risk of debt since the coronavirus pandemic started.

Of those who answered, 30% said it had affected them a great deal and 47% said it had impacted them a fair amount.

Previous polling for the charity found that more than 600,000 people encountered debt problems during the pandemic – either getting into debt or seeing existing debts get even worse.

Dunn said: “We want people to understand that they aren’t alone in dealing with their debt or the impact on their mental wellbeing that comes with it.

“Hundreds of thousands of people are not only facing the stigma of debt but the added stigma of poor mental health.

“We want you to know that there is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.”

She said there was specialist advice throughout the CAB network, who can also link people with other local support organisations, and that there was a tool on their website which suggests ways to boost income, reduce outgoings and make the most of your money.

Citizens Advice Scotland is running a Debt Happens campaign, which seeks to let people know they are not alone in facing debt and that they can get advice from across its network.

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