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Isolated, scared and forgotten: Charity highlights connection between debt and loneliness in East Kilbride

By Andrea Lambrou

An East Kilbride Debt Centre has released new statistics highlighting how loneliness and debt is affecting many people in the town.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) support local residents in their journey out of debt, many of whom have previously suffered with loneliness or another mental health struggles.

Their latest data shows, before coming to CAP, two out of five of their clients would go over a week without having a meaningful conversation with anyone.

Three in five told the charity, before seeking free debt help, they "often or always" felt lonely.

One in three said they previously felt they had nowhere to turn and didn’t think anyone could help them.

With loneliness being exacerbated by the Covid pandemic, at times with devastating impact, people are being encouraged to initiate conversations about loneliness to help towards a mentally healthy society.

This year's theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 (May 9-15) explores the experience of loneliness, its effect on our mental health and how we can all play a part in reducing loneliness in our communities.

A spokesman for CAP said: “Right now we’re meeting people on a daily basis who are feeling isolated, scared and forgotten as they struggle alone with their debts.

"These stats are so sad but are also the reality of the impact debt can have on people's mental health and how it can lead to them feeling lonely and shut off from the outside world.

"Living with the kind of constant anxiety that debt creates builds deeply seated feelings of isolation and loneliness."

A study from the Royal College of Psychiatrists found that half of all adults with a debt problem are also living with mental ill-health.

The Mental Health Foundation identifies debt as creating a considerable burden, made worse by dealing with it alone.

The charity added: “Trying to struggle through debt by yourself can lead to other serious mental health challenges.

"We’d say to anyone out there, don’t suffer alone and in isolation, but get in touch today for some friendly support and see how we can help."

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK charity determined to reduce poverty by delivering free debt help, money management education, life skills courses and job clubs, all through local churches.

Contact CAP on 0800 328 0006 or visit capuk.org.

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