Chiefs at Paymentshield back National Conversation Week

Chiefs at Paymentshield back National Conversation Week

by Danielle Thompson (May 2020)

CHIEFS at Paymentshield backing National Conversation Week in a bid to ‘improve the nation’s well-being.’

The national awareness week, which runs until Sunday, May 17, aims to get the UK talking more in a bid to improve the nation’s wellbeing at a time when people are facing unprecedented challenges and are separated from each other. It was founded by Southport-based Paymentshield, and backed by mental health charity Mind and independent financial ratings company Defaqto.

This year, it aims to get people talking about finances in particular, as more people than ever before may be facing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Alarmingly, research from Paymentshield revealed that 41% of people do not ask anyone for financial help when they need it, which means that many may be suffering in silence. As financial worries are one of the biggest contributors to poor mental health, National Conversation Week wants to encourage more open and honest conversations.

Through safe conversations via phone, video conferencing, or any other socially-distant method, people can bring comfort and take care of each other during the current tough times. National Conversation Week reminds the public to get in touch, and encourages creative ways to connect with friends, family, neighbours, acquaintances, online communities, and professionals, to give and receive much-needed support.

According to financial experts at Paymentshield, during periods of financial uncertainty, people tend to consider their outgoings and can be tempted to make risky financial decisions based purely on cost alone. Seeking the help of professionals is especially recommended during these periods, to avoid them being left vulnerable, for example if they cancel an insurance policy and are no longer protected, or swap to a cheaper policy without understanding how to avoid being stung by compulsory excess fees. National Conversation Week raises awareness of the benefits of talking to financial advisers, so that people can have a better understanding of what they can do if their circumstances have changed.

As part of the awareness week, free resources and information have been released. This includes mental health information from Mind, which is National Conversation Week’s charity partner for the second year in a row.

Stephen Buckley, head of information at Mind says: “The coronavirus outbreak will have a long-term impact on our economy – we’re likely to see another recession as the nation attempts to get back on its feet. We know there is a strong link between issues like debt, unemployment, poor housing and poor mental health.

“So, it stands to reason that factors like job insecurity, unemployment, low paid work and redundancy could have a knock-on impact on mental health. Unfortunately, we know these kinds of factors disproportionately affect people who have existing mental health problems. That’s why it’s important that financial support and support with wider social issues are there for people when they need it.

“Speaking about these issues and asking for help may seem daunting but sharing your worries can be a real relief and is often the first step in getting the help you need. We’re supporting National Conversation Week in the hope that it will encourage people to speak to a friend, family member, or another trusted individual about how you’re feeling.”

Jennifer Ripley from Paymentshield, added: “We might not be able to see each other face-to-face, but that doesn’t mean that conversations have to stop. We know that right now is a particularly worrying and challenging time, especially with so much uncertainty, and whilst people are cut off from their usual support networks. It’s more important than ever before that we stay in touch, especially when it comes to financial conversations. Money is one of the biggest contributors to poor mental health. We’re calling on the nation to keep the conversation going – from video calls with a financial expert, to a chat with grandparents - and support each other.”

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