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Money worries have impact on physical and mental health

28 April 2014

Debt worries are impacting on people's mental and physical health but help with financial problems can stop problems escalting says Citizens Advice.

Many Citizens Advice Bureaux hold advice sessions in medical centres. There are Citizens Advice outlets in 98 of 102 of GP surgeries in Derbyshire as Doctors there ‘prescribe’ financial check-ups from Citizens Advice to help people get on top of their finances and make sure they are getting all of the help available.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

“Free independent financial advice can, like the flu jab, get fit initiatives and stop smoking services, help prevent wider health issues.  The legacy of recession means more and more people are struggling to make ends meet.  Many people are relying on credit cards, payday loans and overdrafts to cover the cost of feeding their families and heating their homes. Money advice stops financial problems escalating and limits the impact on people’s mental and physical health.

“Nearly three in four people with debt worries told us their financial concerns were affecting their mental health and more than half said it was having an impact on their physical health.   Some people have been able to stop taking medication for depression because, after receiving help from their local Citizens Advice Bureaux, they were able to sort out their financial difficulties.

“Health problems that limit how much people can work or if they are able to work at all, can have an devastating impact on people’s finances.  It’s important that, alongside treatment, advice is available to make sure people are getting all of the benefits available and don’t end up in financial crisis.”

Research from Citizens Advice in 2012 found nearly 3 in 4 (74%) said debt worries were having an impact on their mental health. while more than 1 in 2 (54%) said their physical health was affected.  Of those having health problems, just over half had experienced a panic or anxiety attack (51%).  Almost 4 out of every 5 (79%) said they were losing sleep most nights because of debt.

Notes to editors:

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit You can also get advice online at
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  5. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014  service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.