Payplan Blog – May 2024

May 2024 PayPlan Blog

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 – Moving more for your mental health

‘Moving more for our mental health’ is this year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week.

At PayPlan, we’re well aware of the stress that debt can place on you, and for many people, poor financial situations can trigger extended periods of stress and compound mental health problems.

For this year’s campaign, we’re exploring why moving more supports mental health, how debt can contribute to poor mental health, and how to improve your mental and physical wellbeing and financial situation.

Why is movement this year’s theme?

Looking after yourself physically helps prevent problems with your mental health as exercise releases “feel good” hormones that reduce feelings of stress and anger.

It also helps you feel better about yourself physically and can improve your sleep. If it involves other people, like being part of a team, a class, or a group we see regularly, it can also boost our mental health and social skills.

Moving more is good for your mental and physical health

Regular physical activity is known to improve mental health, quality of life, and wellbeing. It also helps prevent and treat heart disease, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer, and more.

Despite these well-established benefits, over a third of UK adults (36%) don’t meet the recommended amount of activity or find it challenging to find the time for physical activity.

When life’s busy, finding time for wellbeing-boosting activities can be tricky. But finding moments for movement might be easier than you think. Why not use the time you spend waiting to move more? When you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, for your kids to come out of school, for a bus to arrive, or even moving while brushing your teeth, these moments will add up!

The links between mental health and debt are intertwined

If mental health issues contributed to your debt or have made it harder for you to pay back what you owe, then you might benefit from giving your creditors a debt and mental health evidence form (DMHEF).

Telling your creditors about your mental health means that they can make appropriate adjustments to their collections processes and communication with you, which could help make your situation easier to handle.

We’ve also put together a guide to help you cope with financial stress.

What has PayPlan’s research found?

In late 2023, PayPlan’s ‘positive impact of debt advice’ survey highlighted the close links between our client’s mental health and their relationship with their finances.

When asked ‘How worried are you about your debts?’ before receiving debt advice, PayPlan’s clients’ average ‘worry rating’ score was 9/10. Additionally, 94% said debt had negatively impacted their mental wellbeing.

After receiving debt advice, the follow-up survey revealed:

  • 100% of clients were less worried about their debts
  • 90% of clients said their mental wellbeing had improved
  • 97% felt clearer about the way forward and what to do next
  • 93% felt more confident about managing their money
  • The average rating clients gave their PayPlan adviser was 9.3/10

You can hear from PayPlan’s clients as part of their Debt Diaries series.

If you need additional support

While PayPlan can help to reduce your money worries, here are a number of specialist mental health organisations that may be able to support you:

Rethink Mental Illness – if you need practical help on issues such as mental health, community care, welfare benefits, medication or living with mental illness, contact Rethink Mental Illness by visiting their website to find your local branch

MIND – advice and support for anyone who is suffering from mental health issues (depression, bipolar, anxiety, suicide ideation, psychosis). Call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463

Campaign against living miserably (CALM) – is leading a movement against suicide. Speak to a member of the helpline team, call 0800 58 58 58

SHOUT – the UK’s first 24/7 text service, which is free on all major mobile networks. It’s a place to go to if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. You can get in touch by texting 85258

Samaritans – for anyone who needs to talk to somebody anytime they like, in their own way and off the record – about whatever is getting to them. They don’t have to be suicidal. Call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

If you want to know more, the Mental Health Foundation’s 2024 report has explored what’s stopping the UK population from being more active, and what could help get people moving more for their mental health.

How to access debt support

If you are struggling with debts call us on 0800 389 3302. We’re open from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 3pm on Saturdays.

Alternatively, you can visit our www.payplan.com/unison to speak to us via live chat or for more information.