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Cost of living crisis: don’t struggle in silence

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Health leaders across Lancashire and South Cumbria are urging people to talk about their money worries as food, fuel and energy costs continue to rise.

The message comes as part of the latest phase of the local health and care partnership’s Let’s Keep Talking suicide prevention campaign.

The ‘cost of living crisis’ has been a frequent feature in the news over the past few weeks and months with more and more people struggling to pay the bills and make ends meet.

Neil Smith, mental health multi-agency strategic lead for Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “We know that rising food, fuel and energy costs, to give a few examples, are having a big impact on so many people right now.

“We recognise that for some people, the day-to-day cost of living is starting to feel unmanageable. But it’s important that people know that help is out there – and more importantly that they reach out for that help if they feel they need it.”

Dealing with money issues can sometimes be off-putting and many people can feel ashamed however most debt and money issues can be sorted through the help of organisations such as Citizen’s Advice.

Emma Sylvester, debt services manager, Citizen’s Advice, said: “We are seeing an increase in people contacting our service who are struggling with the rising cost of living.

“We want people to know that they’re not alone and our advisors will be able to support them to find the best solution to their concerns and problems.

“We know that money worries can lead to people thinking about taking their own lives.

“But it doesn’t have to be this way. In my role as a debt services manager, I have never said to anyone ‘we can’t help you with that’, there is always a way.”

Suicide rates across the region are the third highest in England with men three times more likely to take their life by suicide than women.

For more information and help and support about debt and money, visit www.healthierlsc.co.uk/MentalHealthSupport-1/debt-advice-and-support/cost-living-crisis

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