this released today by the Samaritans:
Nearly half the UK population (48%) has worried this year about debt and money, according to a survey published today by Samaritans and YouGov, with almost a quarter of people (23%) describing 2009 as a bad year or their worst year ever.
The poll of more than 2,000 people asked the public to identify their five biggest worries over the past year. After money, other top-five sources of anxiety were problems in relationships with family and friends (reported by 35% of people) and physical health concerns (32%), followed by fears over job security (24%) and workplace stress (24%).
Other key findings were:
loneliness was one of the top worries amongst 21% of young people (aged 18-24) compared to only 8% of older people (aged 55 plus);
more women (25%) have worried about their appearance or ageing than men (18%);
10% of men have worried about sport and how their favourite team is doing compared to 1% of women;
people have been more worried about domestic politics (24%) and world affairs (23%) than about what was happening in their own neighbourhood (8%);
over twice as many women (23%) have worried about their ability to cope emotionally with life than men (11%);
while 23% of people described 2009 as a bad year, for 18% 2009 was a good year; 41% thought the year had been both good and bad, featuring ups and downs.
press release and link to the full survey, including a regional breakdown, here.
I wonder if the message that 'there's probably no God, now stop worrying...' would be of any help here? Probably not. For something a bit more practical, there's a few debt resources and organisations here. We've just started using the CAP Money course, 3 dvd-based sessions on finance management, and are aiming to run it regularly in the new year. A pilot in the autumn was well recieved, so it'll be interesting to see what the take-up is in 2010.
If anyone reading this feels moved to help, then why not volunteer for the Samaritans? Details at the foot of this link.