How might money issues affect your mental health?
Money and mental health are often linked. Worrying about money can affect your mental health and poor mental health can make managing your money difficult.
Worrying about money may lead to feelings of anxiety, stress, depression, anger.
The impact of the rising cost of living
We are all feeling the impact of the cost of living pressures, rising rents, bills and food prices are taking their toll and as a result, many people are struggling to meet their basic living needs. If you are struggling to makes ends meet, you might be able to get help from the government or your local council to help you with essentials. We want to make sure that those across Gwent who need support and advice, can access this easily.
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board have a page dedicated to support with the cost of living which you can find here Support With the Cost of Living – Aneurin Bevan University Health Board . This has general information and advice on support available, as well as what you may be able to access in your local area.
The ongoing stress as a result of the increased cost of living can have an impact on your mental health and wellbeing. If financial worries are affecting your mental health, see our self-help resources section below.
Information and advice
Help and support is available:
- Find out if you are entitled to Government financial help by checking this page or by visiting your local Citizens Advice office, see details for each local area below.
- Find out if you can save money on bills by checking the advice below.
- If you want help with managing debt there are services which provide free support – see ‘organisations and support to help you manage your finances’ below. .
- Try a free online course designed to help you manage the practical and emotional issues around money worry. See our courses below.
- If financial worries are affecting your mental health see our self-help resources section below.
- If you are in debt caused by someone else’s actions see the advice below.
Check if you can save money on bills and/or are entitled to Government support
- General savings – The Money Saving Expert website contains tips to help you reduce your essential bills.
- Energy savings – In recognition that many households will need support to help deal with rising energy bills they have launched a pack of support which includes the Energy Bills Support Scheme.
- People on lowest income in Wales – Households with the lowest income in Wales can receive a payment of £350 with some people entitled to further financial support from the Welsh Government Discretionary Assistant Fund.
- If you are pregnant or have a child under 4, with the Healthy Start Scheme you may be entitled to weekly support for fruit, vegetables, milk and vitamins. Or could you could receive a prepaid card to support the cost of healthy essentials.
Check if you are claiming all your entitled benefits
Welsh Government have launched a new service, through Citizens Advice, called ‘Claim What’s Yours’ which helps people claim the benefits they are entitled to. It has a dedicated helpline: 0808 250 5700. The Claim What’s Yours Service is also supported by a helpline for people who need more general advice, operated by Citizens Advice: Advicelink Cymru. This is a Welsh Government funded service designed to help people who are in most needs of services. It is open Monday to Friday 9-5pm on 0800 702 2020. Or you can visit the website for information and/or have a web chat.
Or you can visit the ‘Money Saving Expert’ website which has a 10 minute benefit checker so you can check if you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to.
If you have a disability and need to seek advice on benefits, the Disability Advice Project (DAP) provides welfare rights advice service to support people who are disabled, their families and carers. Contact them on: 01633 485865, email on email@example.com or visit www.dapwales.org.uk.
Check if you can get help with your housing costs
If you need help with your housing costs, whether you are a tenant in the social or private sector, or a homeowner, ask for advice and support at the earliest opportunity if you think you will have difficulty paying your rent and/or bills.
- You can contact your landlord or mortgage provider direct to request a short term change to payment arrangements or get in touch with the local Housing Support Gateway on 01495 766949 for longer term support.
- The Housing Support Gateway will ask you some questions about your circumstances and signpost or refer you to the most appropriate advice, information or support. Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) provide additional help with your rent. To get a DHP, you must be entitled to Housing Benefit or receiving Universal Credit which includes an amount for housing costs and in a position where you are still unable to cover your housing costs.
- If you rent a private property there is also a dedicated helpline for people experiencing debt with their rent. Phone: 0808 278 7920 or visit the Advicelink Cyrmu website.
If you want local advice on housing support available or housing debt
If you want help with making a benefits claim
If you want help with making a benefits claim the Help to Claim service is provided by Citizens Advice who provide help with making benefit claims.
If you want local help and support with making a benefits claim and:
- If you live in Blaenau Gwent you can contact Citizens Advice on 03444 772020 or online or for more information and to make a benefits application you can contact Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council on 01495 311556 or visit www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk.
- If you live in Torfaen you can contact Torfaen Citizens Advice on 0300 330 2117 or online or for more information and to make a benefits application you can contact Torfaen County Borough Council online or call 01495 766430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you live in Caerphilly contact Citizens Advice on 03444 772020 or online or for more information and to make a benefits application you can contact Caerphilly County Borough Council on 01443 866534.
- If you live in Monmouthshire contact Monmouthshire Citizens Advice on 03444 77 20 20 or online.
- If you live in Newport contact Newport Citizens Advice on 03444 77 20 20 or see their website.
If you want to contact a helpline that supports people in debt
There are a range of agencies and resources that can help you manage and resolve money related worries. These organisations provide free help and advice on issues such as debt management, maximising your welfare benefits and other general money advice. This support can help you feel more in control and reduce immediate levels of stress. See the ‘organisations and support to help you manage your finances’ below for more information on Citizens Advice Cymru, Step Change and The National Debt Line.
If financial worries are affecting your mental health contact a specialist helpline.
If you are in debt and it has been caused by someone else’s actions (economic abuse) you can seek help
If you have had, or are still having, any aspects of your finances controlled in a way you are unhappy, then this could be abuse. These tools from Surviving Economic Abuse can help you identify abuse and advice on what to do: I need help – Surviving Economic Abuse.
Last updated: 12.09.2022