Learn about link between mental illness and debt — (Manchester Evening News)

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Manchester Evening News

By Manchester Evening News

North west professionals who deal with debtors are invited to a special event where they can learn about the link between mental illness and indebtedness.

Accountants, solicitors, bankers, welfare workers, debt counsellors and doctors can sign up for an intensive two days course designed to raise awareness.

The nationwide initiative, to be launched later this year, is a collaborative venture between the Campaign for Awareness of Mental Illness Among Debtors and the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Ian Williamson, campaign founder and insolvency practitioner at Northwich-based  Campbell, Crossley and Davis, said: “One in four people in the UK with a mental health problem are in debt and the latest figure show that more than a third of all people assessed after self-harming also have a major debt problem.

“Research has also shown after a decade of decline, there is now a rise in the suicide rate in the UK believed to be linked to  the recession and debt and there been has a massive increase in the number of antidepressant drugs prescribed by GPs for patients with financial worries.”

The session will be held at the Trust’s Sycamore House training centre at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire on May 24-25.

Mental health specialist Nigel Crompton, of the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Mental health issues underscore much anguish and hardship experienced by debtors but the professionals they turn to for help are often ill-equipped to recognise it or offer any practical advice.”

Participants will be taught how to recognise if a client has a mental illness problem, how to detect the tell-tale signs of a suicidal state of mind and how to lead them to professional help.

Mr Williamson said: “We would hope these courses will play an important part in relieving a great deal of mental anguish linked to debt.”