October 2023 PayPlan Blog
Putting your mental health first when you’re dealing with debt – World Mental Health Day 2023
World Mental Health Day takes place on Tuesday, October 10, and is an opportunity to raise awareness, improve your knowledge and take action to improve your mental health.
Looking after your mental health is important for everyone, and is vital to our overall well-being. Poor mental health can affect your physical health, day-to-day life, and ability to maintain relationships.
Dealing with debt can have a huge impact on your mental health, so it’s vital to take steps to improve it and look after your mental wellbeing when dealing with debt.
Signs that you or someone else may be struggling
If you’re worried about a friend or family member’s mental health, or you’re not sure how you’re coping, here are some signs to look out for in yourself or others which could indicate a decline in mental health:
- Fluctuating moods
- Constant fear, worry, and anxiety
- Sleeping too little/too much
- Significant changes in diet and appetite
- Constantly feeling irritated
- Constantly feeling hopeless
- Constantly feeling stressed
- Being distant from friends and family
- Struggling to stay motivated
What can you do to improve your mental health?
If you feel like some of the above traits apply to your behaviour at the moment, here are some steps you can take to try to improve your mental well-being.
Talk to friends and family:
When you’re in debt, opening up about it to the people who care about you can be one of the most difficult things to do. Despite this, people usually find that they feel relieved to have spoken about it and feel like a weight has been lifted.
Your family and friends will only want the best for you, so even though you may feel embarrassed or nervous to tell them, it’s better to open up about it in the long run, as debt is a difficult thing to go through alone.
Improve your exercise and diet:
When it comes to mental well-being, your diet, sleep schedule and exercise are very important.
Trying to stick to a healthy routine, where you eat well, get enough sleep and exercise regularly, will have a massive benefit on your overall health and your mental health.
It’s also useful to cut back on things like caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and sugar if you feel like they may be affecting your mental health or your day-to-day life.
Take steps to improve your debts:
If you’re in debt, even if it isn’t the root cause of a mental health problem, it will have a huge impact on your mental health. Although it may seem very scary to face, just taking the first step will allow you to relax somewhat, and the more you get it under control, the less stressed you’ll feel about it.
A great first step is to work out your budget – find out how much income and outgoings you have each month. You can also use our BudgetSmart tool to check whether there are any areas you could be saving money, or if you could be receiving more income.
Where can you find support for your mental health?
- Campaign against living miserably (CALM) – A leading movement against suicide. Speak to a member of the helpline team by calling 0800 58 58 58.
- MIND – Advice and support for anyone suffering from mental health issues such as depression, bipolar, anxiety or suicidal thoughts. Call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463.
- Samaritans – For anyone who just needs to talk to somebody at any time about whatever is getting to them. Call 116 123.
- SHOUT – The UK’s first 24/7 mental health text service, which is free on all major mobile networks. If you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help, you can get in touch by texting 85258.
- Rethink Mental Illness – if you need practical help on issues such as mental health, community care, welfare benefits, medication or living with mental illness, contact Rethink Mental Illness by visiting their website to find your local branch.
Get free debt advice
Every adviser at PayPlan has received dedicated training to spot the signs of and support mental health and well-being.
If you have mental health problems and you’re in debt, you can contact us by calling us for free on 0800 072 1206 – we’re open from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am-3pm on Saturdays. Alternatively, you can visit our website www.payplan.com/bfawu for more information and alternative ways to get in touch.