Mental health charity warns financial issues push some to have suicidal thoughts

41% said financial and/or housing pressures contributed to their suicidal feelings

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Almost half of people with mental health problems who have contemplated suicide said money, housing or benefits issues were to blame.

A poll of 1,505 people who had used mental health services in the last two years found 1,022 had considered or attempted suicide.

The survey, for the charity Mind, found that almost half of these suffered due to social and financial problems.

Of the 1,022 people, 41% said financial and/or housing pressures contributed to their suicidal feelings, while 29% said the fear of losing, or the loss of, their welfare benefits played a part.

Some 29% cited a job loss or difficulties at work, while 25% blamed the breakdown of a relationship.

Mind is launching a new five-year campaign, Life Support, highlighting the importance of community services that provide advice, information and social contact for people with mental health problems.

It said these services are under threat due to local authority spending cuts.

Sophie Corlett, director of external relations at Mind, said: "People with mental health problems are far more likely than the rest of the population to experience social issues - such as money, housing and benefits issues - and may need more tailored support to help them address these issues, support that often is no longer available.

"This can lead to huge personal and financial costs, as people's lives spiral out of control, to the point where some people are considering suicide.

"Good community support services can help people with mental health problems stay well, avoid crisis and remain connected to their community.

"But this type of support is under threat and getting harder to find."

A Government spokesman said: "We welcome this campaign - we want people to get the help they need before they reach a point of mental health crisis, which is why we increased mental health funding to an estimated £11.7 billion last year.

"The charity Mind has been instrumental in developing the NHS's five-year plan for mental health, which includes a cross-government National Suicide Prevention Strategy aiming to reduce the number of suicides. Staff working in the welfare system are trained to identify and support people who are vulnerable, including those who may be at risk of suicide or self-harm."

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