Debt Casts Shadow over Mental Health Wellbeing; Money and Threat of Unemployment Major Causes of Worry and Anxiety
Byline: Madeleine Brindley
MONEY and unemployment are expected to be major causes of worry and anxiety in Wales this year, casting a shadow over the nation's mental health and wellbeing.
The Samaritans said that money and debt was the main cause of concern for people during 2009.
And its director for Wales, Simon Hatch, said the organisation expected there to be little change in 2010.
The prediction has prompted concerns for people's mental health and wellbeing.
A survey for the Samaritans found that 45% of people asked had worried about money and debt during 2009.
Mr Hatch said: "The 2009 survey is perhaps unsurprising in that concerns about money came out on top for people in Wales.
"And we feel that this is likely to continue in 2010, especially with concerns about unemployment.
"Unemployment, and the stress that go with that, and the possibility of further impacts from the recession are likely to lead to poorer mental health, worries and pressures on families and relationships."
A review of research into the relationship between debt and mental health problems by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, found that the more debts people have, the more likely they may be to have a mental disorder.
Different types of debt may also have a different impact on a person's mental health.
The review also said that a person's worry or concern about their debt can have an equal or larger negative impact on mental health than the actual size or amount of that debt.
And it said that large economic recessions - such as the current recession - affect more people, including those with little previous experience of coping with hardship, who may be at greater risk of mental health problems than others who are "inured" to financial insecurity.
Research has also found that debt may have indirect effects on household psychological wellbeing over time, because it affects feelings of economic pressure, parental depression, conflict-based family relationships and even potential mental health problems among children. …