‘Don’t let debt drive you to suicide’ is the message from Hastings charity

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A debt charity is calling for people stressed by finances to seek help.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP), which has centres in Hastings and St Leonards, is appealing for people to take action as the UK marks Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.

More than a third of people asking the charity for help with debts say they have seriously considered or attempted suicide.

Nick Warren, Hastings and St Leonards centre manager, said: “A shocking number of the people we’re helping were once so stressed and desperate, they thought suicide was their only way out. It’s incredibly sad because once we’re alongside them, tackling their finances with them, it’s amazing to see how fast that feeling of hope is restored.

“My concerns are always for the people who are secretly dealing with huge debt problems who don’t realise that free help is available.

“Our message to them today is, you are not on your own. Speak to us, or another good free debt agency. We can help you get on top of things, sleep better and really live life again.

“Christians Against Poverty celebrates 20 years this year and we’ve never yet seen a situation that can’t be sorted out so please, let us see what we can do to lift that weight.”

Suicide Prevention Day seeks to reduce the 6,500 people dying from suicide in the UK and Northern Ireland every year.

CAP offers a free service to everyone regardless of age, gender, faith or background.

It sees every client in their home, offering both emotional support and a practical solution. CAP’s staff negotiate with creditors on the client’s behalf and help to draw up a budget.

A team of befrienders ensures that each person paying off debts or going through an insolvency is supported often by others who have experienced the same situations themselves.

Personal debt is mostly commonly caused by low income, joblessness, relationship breakdown or illness in the family.

Hastings and St Leonards CAP Centre, is supported by seven church congregations from five denominations.

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