Middle-aged men facing debt crisis

Jemma McDougall, centre manager, Houghton Christians Against Poverty where a new debt counselling service has been launched.
Jemma McDougall, centre manager, Houghton Christians Against Poverty where a new debt counselling service has been launched.
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A CHARITY today urged middle-aged men facing spiralling debts to seek help after a study showed they most at risk of suicide.

The research, by debt consultants Vincent Bond, found that more than 50 per cent of those suffering from personal debt have experienced a significant impact on their happiness, mental health, general health and personal relationships have also suffered at the hands of their problem.

Counsellors at charity Christians Against Poverty (Cap), which joined forces with the Bethany Christian Centre, in Houghton, to bring its free service to the area, said the report highlighted many issues.

Centre manager Jemma McDougall said: “The national picture is that women are more likely to call us and ask for help.

“We know that men find it more difficult to ask for help, this may be to do with pride or embarrassment especially if these feelings are connected to loss of employment or a relationship break down.

“From a recent client report on reasons why Cap clients got in to debt, these two reasons are top of the list.”

Houghton is one of 21 locations across the country where the national organisation opened a centre during October.

“For these reasons, our church has responded and has partnered with Cap to offer a free debt counselling service to make it easy for men to ask for help in confidence and receive advice in their own home,” said Jemma.

“Knowing that more than a third consider or attempt suicide we expect to save lives in and around Houghton.”

More than 57 per cent of respondents in the survey said their personal happiness had been significantly affected by their problems, while 50 per cent said they had experienced mild to severe mental health or health problems.

A total of 61 per cent said debt problems had affected their personal relationships, while men between the ages of 40 and 49 were the highest demographic affected by debt.