It’s Mental Health Awareness Week this week, a time for us to focus on the mental wellbeing of our friends, families and, of course, ourselves.

In our busy, stressful lives, children can get caught up in the pressure. The Mental Health Foundation recommends that children should feel valued, safe, loved, trusted and, of course, be encouraged to have fun!  Amongst many others, films and books like Pixar’s Inside Out or Michael Rosen’s Sad Book help children and parents alike to recognise (then talk about) their feelings in a healthy way – and identify whether anything is missing from that recommended list.

One familiar struggle for many families is household finances and debt. Surveys show a 56% increase in people seeking debt and financial advice, and it’s listed as a central contributor to stress and mental health difficulties.

So don’t forget: financial support and advice is available.

  • Money Advice Service - free and impartial money advice, set up by government
  • Step Change - help people with debt problems take back control of their finances
  • Turn2Us - a national charity providing help to people who are struggling financially
  • Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust – supporting the children of families in the UK fashion and textile industry with financial grants

The golden rule is to not ignore the problem. Instead, speak to your bank, building society, loan / credit card companies, and so on. Let them know you’re struggling and ask how they can help.