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The Salvation Army urges struggling Australians to reach out for help – 73% of vulnerable Australians are experiencing mental health challenges from financial distress

The Salvation Army 2 mins read

27 October 2023

 

EMBARGOED AND NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 27 OCTOBER 2023

 

The Salvation Army urges struggling Australians to reach out for help

73% of vulnerable Australians are experiencing mental health challenges from financial distress

 

The Salvation Army is encouraging Australians this Anti-Poverty Week (October 15 to 27), to reach out for financial support as the current cost-of-living crisis continues to impact households.

 

Recent research from The Salvation Army, which surveyed more than 1700 Australians who have used The Salvation Army’s services, revealed: *

 

  • Mental health and emotional wellbeing were among the greatest challenge in the past 12 months for 73 per cent of respondents.
  • 7 in 10 (70%) respondents acknowledged that their mental health struggles had a negative impact on their ability to take care of themselves and their families, as well as their capacity to manage their finances, employment and housing situations.
  • The cost-of-living crisis has also impacted people’s physical health, with 66% of respondents reporting their health deteriorated and 38% reporting their health was more difficult to treat because they could not afford essential healthcare.

 

As Aussies continue to feel the brunt of the rising cost-of-living, with insurance premiums rising and a current mortgage cliff, more people have been turning to The Salvation Army for financial and emotional support as they look to better cope with overall financial wellbeing.

 

In 2021-22, The Salvation Army’s free financial counselling service, Moneycare, supported more than 12,600 individuals with over 52,000 sessions nationwide. As a result, 93 per cent said Moneycare had an overall positive impact on their circumstances and 83 per cent said they were able to cope with future stress better. **

“As the cost of living, interest rates and rent hikes continue to rise, so are many people’s stress levels,” says Kristen Hartnett, National Head of Moneycare. “But you don't have to face it alone. At Moneycare, we have seen first hand the transformative impact on mental health and overall wellbeing as a result of the guidance from our dedicated team. We're here to walk alongside you and provide the support you need to gain control of your finances.”

A Queensland Moneycare community care member said, “I feel less stressed. I didn’t know there was this help available. I can’t believe how great you have been. I have a pathway to take away worry and concern.”

In addition, The Salvation Army’s Doorways Emergency Relief and Community Services assisted more than one in three (36%) people facing financial issues such as difficulties meeting the rise in basic living costs and managing unexpected expenses. ***

 

When reflecting on the impact of The Salvation Army in their lives in the past year, respondents frequently expressed gratitude for the positive experiences and emotional support provided, with 88% reporting they would not have managed financially without the assistance they received from the Salvos.

 

“In times of financial hardship, it's important to remember that you are not alone. With over 2,000 services nationwide, The Salvation Army stands ready to lend a helping hand whenever you need it, whether it's today or in the months ahead. Reach out to The Salvos,” Kristen said.

 

If you or someone you know needs support from The Salvation Army, or for more information, please visit salvationarmy.org.au or call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).

 

ENDS

 

For more information, please contact The Salvation Army’s Media Relations Department on (02) 9466 3143

 

*The Salvation Army, Red Shield Report 2023

**Moneycare Outcomes Measurement report 2021/22, The Salvation Army

***The Salvation Army SAMIS data 2022

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