Church Throwing A Lifeline To People With Poor Mental Health

Local Churches have told how they are helping people with anxiety, depression and other psychological conditions to find new hope.

This week (May 16th-22nd) thousands of supporters across the UK are taking part in Mental Health Awareness Week #MHAW16. The theme of this year’s event is relationships. The Mental Health Foundation are highlighting how healthy and supportive relationships are vital to good mental health. It is the people and connections in our lives that add to our wellbeing and help us thrive.

The congregations of St Peter’s, Belper Baptist Church and Belper Community Church jointly run a debt centre in partnership with the charity Christians Against Poverty. Locally, churches have found 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.

Belper CAP Debt Centre Manager Adriaan van Wyk 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 Adriaan, “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.

“Ninety-four per cent of clients recently surveyed 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.”

You can get involved in Mental Health Awareness Week by following this link. Here you will find more information on setting up an event, telling your story and connecting with MHA network.

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

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