The NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria is urging people to reach out for help if they are struggling with post-Christmas credit card bills, alongside the rising cost of living.
People can feel pressure to spend more money than they can afford on gifts and food during the festive period, which can then hit hard in the New Year when credit card bills land on the doorstep.
Neil Smith, Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board suicide prevention programme lead, said: “We know lots of people have already been struggling to manage their money because of the rising cost of living. And we know people will now be starting to receive those credit card bills from Christmas spending.
“Our message is clear: don’t struggle in silence. Help is out there, you just need to reach out.
“We know that being in debt can have a negative effect on people’s mental health and we want to make sure people are seeking help before they reach that point.”
Dealing with money issues can sometimes be off-putting, and many people can feel ashamed. But most money and debt issues can easily be sorted through the help of organisations such as Citizens Advice.
Emma Sylvester, debt services manager at Lancashire West Citizens Advice, said: “If you’re struggling with debt and being able to manage your money, we want to reassure you that you’re not alone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. You just need to reach out for help.
“In my role as a debt services manager, I have never said to anyone ‘we can’t help you with that’. There’s always a way.”
Local authorities across Lancashire and South Cumbria are also offering cost of living support to residents. For more information about the support you can receive from your local council, as well as Citizens Advice visit: healthierlsc.co.uk/costofliving