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Debt affects Mental Health of Children exposed to financial struggle

There have been calls for the Government to provide more support for families facing debt. Charity, The Children’s Society, has called for more breathing space to be afforded to families in the repayment of debts, particularly as a household stressed over debt can inadvertently cause poor mental health in children affected.

The charity said that children living in debt-free homes were less likely to suffer poor mental health than children living amongst debt. The problem is particularly prevalent for families trying to juggle a number of debts, leading to calls from bailiffs, utility firms and councils.

Debt meant that many children were unable to take part in events like sports, school trips, birthday parties, holidays etc therefore limiting their opportunities to socialise. The charity also said that youngsters felt embarrassed for not owning items considered ‘normal’ by their classmates which could also lead to bullying amongst classmates.

The society wants families to be given time to deal with debts, a point also raised by other debt charities.

A government spokesman said: "The number of children living in workless households is at a record low, but we know financial difficulties can put pressure on the entire family, including children, so we want to do more.

"That is why the government-sponsored Money Advice Service spends £45m a year to help people with free debt advice which helped to deliver 380,000 free face-to-face sessions.

"This is backed up by our historic £1.4bn investment into improving children's mental health services and we are supporting schools to teach children about mental health and wellbeing."

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