Under pressure: addressing money fears

The sudden outbreak of the coronavirus caught everyone unprepared and money worries are a major issue for lots of people.

If you were a casual employee, self-employed or a contractor, income disappeared very quickly. It’s a worrying time for anyone and fears about money can easily become a mental health issue.

The good news is that there is a lot of assistance out there from people who can help you navigate the complicated benefits system, review your budget or provide emergency grants. There’s even help with food for those in hardship.

The Lighthouse Club has plenty of experience of helping people with financial worries and promises not to turn anyone away.

The charity has a helpline with trained advisers who can talk through issues, including debt worries. Their advice is to get guidance about benefits and then work out your budget so that you can start to feel in control.

Chief executive officer Bill Hill says: “A lot of people are only one or two paydays away from poverty. The key thing with debt is to make it manageable with a budget – and we can help with real emergencies.”

Lighthouse Club also works with other organisations to ensure people get the benefits they are entitled to including filling in the forms that are required.

Hill says: “Turn2Us is a very good place to go. They’ll help get those forms right first time.”

He says attitudes have changed: “There used to be a lot of stigma around bankruptcy. However, it sometimes takes the weight off your shoulders and means you can start again.”

He says that pushing yourself to be proactive is the first important step to take: “The main thing is taking action. Call someone, talk to someone. It’s the start. And remember we will get through this together.”


Resources to help

Find more on anxiety conditions and support at www.anxietyuk.org.uk

Call the Construction Industry Helpline on 0345 605 1956 or download the app from the App Store or Google Play.


Find support for employers on improving workplace mental health at

www.buildingmentalhealth.net


Getting help

  • The Lighthouse Club

The Lighthouse Club offers mental health support and more. It has an app that can be downloaded onto your phone to help with stress, depression and more. To find out more about their welfare grants, go to: www.lighthouseclub.org

  • Turn2us

Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services. Find out more at:

www.turn2us.org.uk

  • CAP

Christians Against Poverty is a charity specialising in debt counselling for people in financial difficulty, including those in need of bankruptcy or insolvency. Visit www.capuk.org to find out more.

  • Local authorities

Local authorities have set up hardship funds and can help with issues like council tax. Find out more on their individual websites.

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