In their latest survey, CAP Scotland found a concerning upward trend in the number of clients who felt lonely (79% up from 51%) and isolated before seeking debt help. Two thirds (64%) felt they had nobody to turn to when they had a problem. Loneliness, isolation, tension at home, and being forced to go without basic essentials have a compounding effect on a person’s wellbeing and sense of self-worth.
This week National Records of Scotland released its annual update on suicide statistics for 2021. They highlight that people living in Scotland’s most deprived areas remain more than three times as likely to die by suicide than those living in the least deprived areas — almost two thirds of CAP clients live in these communities. Tragically, over a third (36%) of new CAP clients said they had either considered or attempted suicide as a way of out debt.
CAP Scotland National Director, Emma Jackson, says: “We are deeply concerned about the pressure people across Scotland are feeling right now, especially for those on low incomes. In a just and compassionate society, none of us can be content with people being pushed to the edge. As this cost of living crisis deepens, people are being dragged down to the deepest, darkest depths, which leads many to give up hope and believe there is only one escape route.”
“Many people across Scotland are feeling isolated, scared and forgotten as they struggle alone with rising costs and mounting debts, not aware of the free help available. As part of CAP Scotland’s free Debt Help, we offer emotional and practical, community based support that is open to anyone and includes emergency food and fuel aid.”
CAP Scotland client, Bethany*, experienced the profound impact of problem debt on her mental health: “When you have debt you feel like you are hiding. You feel like people are after you, especially if you have mental health problems and are getting terrifying letters.
Debt can be such a secret pain and worry. It can be something you don’t even speak to your family about so you don’t have any support.”
Jackson continued, “We are calling on government at all levels to take urgent action before this escalating crisis costs more lives. For anyone who is struggling with debt right now, our message is clear, don’t suffer alone and in isolation, we are here and ready to help. There is hope. Please get in touch today for holistic support and specialist advice.”
Contact CAP Scotland on 0800 328 0006 or visit capscotland.org to find out more about the support available in your area.