People in debt more lonely than during lockdown

The cost of living is forcing people in debt into increased loneliness and isolation, Christians Against Poverty (CAP) says.

For them, it’s at least as bad as the isolation during the pandemic lockdowns.

The charity surveyed 750 of its clients for its latest study.

Published on Monday to coincide with the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, the survey found many clients struggling with debt were often too worried to answer the door, leave the house or answer the phone.


Before coming to CAP for debt advice and support, 60 per cent of respondents said they felt lonely.

Eighteen months ago, 51 percent of clients reported feeling lonely – but then, Covid restrictions were at their height.

About 40 percent of respondents said they had not had a meaningful conversation in the past week – up from 31 per cent 18 months ago.

Two thirds said they had no one to turn to when they had a problem – a six-per-cent increase.

Sixty-eight percent said that they had been scared to answer the phone.

Fifty-five percent were too frightened to answer a knock at the door.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists says over 50 percent of people in debt are struggling with mental health.

CAP’s helpline has experienced a significant rise in demand this year: there has been a 36-per-cent increase in calls in the three months from January to March, compared with 2021.

Seeking help works

One client, Jonathan, says he felt like he was the only one in debt until he started engaging with CAP, and saw that wasn’t the case. “It definitely gave me hope that there was light at the end of the tunnel,” he says,

CAP says while the easing of lockdown restrictions “meant a thankful end to isolation”, this wasn’t the case for thousands of low-income families struggling in debt and poverty.

“The isolation and loneliness they feel is actually getting worse due to the cost-of-living crisis and mounting debts.

“Right now, we know many people are feeling isolated, scared and forgotten as they struggle alone with their debts, not aware of the free help available.

“Living with the kind of constant anxiety that debt creates often leads to feelings of isolation and loneliness.”


Additional reading

News category: Palmerston, World.

Tags: , ,