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Health

Church throwing a lifeline to people with poor mental health

[A] local debt help service provided by local churches has told how it is helping people with anxiety, depression and other psychological conditions to find new hope.

Penrith Methodist Church and other local churches provide the debt centre in partnership with the charity Christians Against Poverty.

They find that poor mental health often runs hand-in-hand with financial difficulties and, in this Mental Health Awareness Week, the centre is highlighting that debt help and friendship are available locally.

Eden District CAP Debt Centre Manager, Jon Cook said: “If you’ve no money but you’re getting constant demands, threatening letters and phone calls, it’s very stressful. There’s the fear of losing your home, the worry of not being a good parent, relationships feeling the pressure. It’s not surprising that a quarter of our clients describe themselves as having poor mental health.

“However, it also goes the other way. Debt can also be a by-product of an on-going condition. It’s much harder to be working and earning if you’re suffering from a mental health issue and therefore, you’re more likely to be struggling with day-to-day costs.”
The free service from CAP has won several national awards and the charity is regarded as an industry leader for helping the most vulnerable people with a uniquely in-depth service. CAP is also frequently recommended by TV’s Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis.

“The point is,” said Jon, “if you’re feeling low and financial problems are part of that, we want to hear from you. CAP’s system is great for people who are struggling because we come to see you in your home, CAP’s staff at the headquarters in Bradford negotiate with all your creditors and we organise all the paperwork. It’s also absolutely free and for everyone whatever their age, gender, faith or background.

“Clients in a recent survey 94 per cent described the service as “a great help” or even “life transforming” so we hope people will give us a ring and book in for us to come and see them.”

He added that on May 5, MPs in the House of Commons discussed the faith community’s positive contribution to society. The church community here in Penrith is glad to be making a contribution on this issue

If you need help with debt problems, see capuk.org or call 0800 328 0006.

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