End stigma: Let’s talk about debt problems

TORONTO, ONTARIO, January 25, 2017 – The heavy burden of debt can be very hard to carry and for many who struggle with debt problems – they believe there is no way out. And when consumers are faced with this reality – it can lead to depression, anxiety or whole host of problems associated with mental illness.debt problems

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness of mental illness Canada wide. For Canadians who struggle with depression and/or anxiety because of their finances – today is a good opportunity to talk about the debt stress they are under and to seek the appropriate help.

“If your household finances are causing you to lose sleep at night or you are depressed because you don’t know how to pay your growing mountain of debt, please know there is help available. You do not need to suffer in silence alone,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.

“It is important to talk about your debt troubles and seek the guidance of a trusted financial professional as a heavy debt load is not only stressful, it can lead to depression, anxiety, panic attacks or another form of mental illness. You can manage the stress you’re feeling by speaking to a doctor and a financial advisor,” says Schwartz.

If your finances are causing you to experience anxiety, depression, panic attacks, stomach pain, nausea, insomnia or you’re sleeping too much – it is important to address the issue head on before your symptoms get worse.  On Bell Let’s Talk Day; Canadians are encouraged to openly talk about their debt stress and to combat the problem head on. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada recommends the following to alleviate debt stress:

Get help

You’re not alone, Canadians are carrying debt at record levels.  There is no shame in getting help to relieve the stress and anxiety you are feeling because of a heavy burden of debt. It is important to talk to a trusted financial advisor such as a trained credit counsellor to help you manage your debt. One phone call can help you to sleep better at night again.

Set goals for yourself

When you feel like there is no end in sight to your debt, you can feel overwhelmed and hopeless. To help you feel better about your situation, set short term attainable goals for yourself. You may set a goal of saving an extra $20 a week or aim to brown bag your lunch every day. Achieving small goals, will ultimately lead to big rewards.

Avoid retail therapy

Going on a shopping spree may feel nice in the moment however once the thrill is gone, your credit card bill will come in the mail the following month. Shopping sprees are good provided you have the funds to pay back the credit you borrowed in the first place. When you don’t have the funds to pay back your outstanding credit card debt, you’re making your problem worse. So say no to new debt.

Change out your plastic

Substitute your credit card with your debit card.  Or alternatively, learning to use cash instead of credit could be a little challenging at first however once you get used to using cash and sticking to a budget – you will alleviate lots of stress. The reality is debt is a problem however you can manage it by changing your lifestyle habits.



About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.:

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.

For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:

Natasha Carr, Community and Public Relations Manager,
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.,
T: 416-915-7283 ext.1041, C: 416-830-4720, F: 416-915-5200, E: [email protected]

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