Simon Read: Getting help to the desperate can save their lives

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The Independent Online

One in three people contacting a debt charity had either attempted or contemplated killing themselves because of their financial problems, figures published this week showed.

Research by Christians Against Poverty among its clients showed many had become suicidal because of debt. The charity's chief Matt Barlow said: "The debt lifestyle can be horrendous, it escalates fast, often when someone is already feeling vulnerable from a job loss or relationship breakdown. Without specialist advice it is near impossible to get out of that situation."

But getting people to ask for help can be difficult, either because of their pride, fear of being thought stupid for getting into trouble, or simply because they are unaware that there's free help out there.

Well, there is plenty. Christians Against Poverty is available on 0800 328 0006. Then there's Step Change on 0800 138 1111 or National Debtline on 0808 808 4000. Local Citizens Advice Bureaux also have debt experts on hand.

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