One in four (24%) North West adults say that personal or household finances are having an adverse affect on their mental health, according to research of over 2,000 British adults by the insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.
The survey found that personal or household finance come top of a list of common stress factors having a negative impact on mental health, affecting 24% of people in the region. Health problems relating to the individual or a family member (19%), an individual’s or family member’s job (11%), UK or global current events (11%), and relationships with family (10%) complete the top five.
Paul Barber, North West chair of R3 and a partner at Begbies Traynor, says: “Whatever else is going on in the world, things much closer to home are most likely to affect people’s mental health. Personal finances – even concerns about others’ finances – can have a significant impact on your wellbeing and that of your children and partner.
“Improving financial education and financial capability could have a huge, positive impact on the country’s mental health, and much more needs to be done to ensure that people understand their options for dealing with financial problems.”
Two in five (41%) North West adults report being worried about their current level of debt. Credit card debt is the most common cause of concern, mentioned by 48% of adults in the North West who are worried about their current levels of debt. This is followed by overdraft (23%), bank loans (22%), student loans (17%) and loans from family and friends and mortgage repayments (16%).
Paul Barber added: “The economic landscape is relatively benign at present. Real wages are still growing and interest rates are low, yet personal finance concerns still loom large. With inflation set to rise throughout 2017, the pressure is likely to increase.
“The insolvency regime provides an important safety net to help people with very serious financial problems resolve their debts and the associated stress and start again financially.”