Accessing debt support and achieving financial health
In the final instalment of our mental health podcast series, we talk to Greg Jenkinson, Debt Advisor from StepChange, one of the best UK impartial and free Debt advisory services and Michael McGougan, HICS Head of Membership. This podcast discusses ways in which to take control of your financial position, minimise your financial stress and understand what support is available. We also discuss the options around debt solutions and how HICS support their members’ financial health.
What is financial health?
We all need to be able to maintain our day-to-day budgets. Good financial health is being able to pay bills on time and have some left for personal use. Poor financial health is where you become reliant upon credit, not able to pay those important bills and find that you are juggling too much. Contributing factors will have a knock on effect with your financial health. You could unexpectedly be out of work for reasons outside your control or have a physical injury and those days/weeks off could have a huge effect on cash flow.
Recognising your situation and taking control
There is a misconception about debt that if you have it, you have failed. This is simply not true. It is so easy to take the approach of “I will deal with that another day”. The further down the line we push it, the further the worry increases. A poor financial situation is not a reflection on the person themselves. Two thirds of people who find themselves in a poor situation have actually not been foolish with money. There is no shame in asking for help and once you start to address the issue, of which is daunting to many, the easier the steps become moving forward. One step could be as small as checking your bank statement each week and seeing where you could be more comfortable in making some little changes.
What support is out there?
StepChange offers free impartial debt advice on a personal and business level. They will listen and understand and will be able to advise on the best course of action dependant on your financial health. They are experts with many years of experience and will assist with arranging payment plans for loans and credit cards, or breathing space with organisations.
If you are a member of HICS, you have many avenues to take to get the help and support you need. They have dedicated account managers who will be able to offer you advice and guidance on which ever avenue that best suits your situation: help with policies and procedures, getting a good accountant, or exploring avenues like income protection. They can even offer you guidance on how to do a simple excel spreadsheet to help you take control.
Take the free help. You will wish you had done it sooner!
StepChange has a free, confidential online helpline that is available 24hours a day 365 days a year https://www.stepchange.org/
You can also speak to one of their advisors on 02800 138 1111 Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 2pm
The HICS/NHIC mental health podcasts are running into October and are available here: