City churches act on mental health issues

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Several Lisburn Churches have told how they are helping people with anxiety, depression and other psychological conditions to find new hope.

The churches, which include Lisburn Cathedral, Lisburn City Church, Lisburn Christian Fellowship, Sloan Street Presbyterian, Christ Church, 1st Lisburn Presbyterian, Legacurry Presbyterian, Trinity Methodist, Derryvolgie COI, Elmwood Presbyterian, Railway Street Presbyterian, Seymour Street Methodist, the Journey Church and others, partner in debt help with the charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP).

They have said that they find that poor mental health often runs hand-in-hand with financial difficulties and, in Mental Health Awareness Week, the centre is highlighting that debt help and friendship are available locally.

Speaking during Mental Health Week, which runs until May 22, Lisburn CAP Debt Centre Manager Paul Bailie said: “If you’ve no money but you’re getting constant demands, threatening letters and phone calls, it’s very stressful.

“There’s the fear of losing your home, the worry of not being a good parent, relationships feeling the pressure. It’s not surprising that a quarter of our clients describe themselves as having poor mental health.

“However, it also goes the other way. Debt can also be a by-product of an on-going condition. It’s much harder to be working and earning if you’re suffering from a mental health issue and therefore, you’re more likely to be struggling with day-to-day costs.”

The free service from CAP has won several national awards and the charity is regarded as an industry leader for helping the most vulnerable people with a uniquely in-depth service.

“The point is,” said Paul “If you’re feeling low and financial problems are part of that, we want to hear from you. CAP’s system is great for people who are struggling because we come to see you in your home, CAP’s staff at the headquarters in Bradford negotiate with all your creditors and we organise all the paperwork. It’s also absolutely free and for everyone whatever their age, gender, faith or background.”

If you need help with debt problems see or call 0800 328 0006.