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How to support young people in coping with financial stress

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There's a lot of pressure when it comes to managing your finances, for young people this can be overwhelming and negatively impact their mental health.

72% of youth reported worrying about money “often” or “always.”

Over 75% of students express concern about their ability to make ends meet while attending college, and 35% report using their overdraft as a source of income.

A young person can benefit greatly from being able to discuss their financial worries and pressures.

In honour of University Mental Health Day, which falls on Thursday, March 14 this year, we’ve provided our best advice for parents and carers on how to have a conversation with young people about financial concerns, to help them when it comes to coping with financial stress:

Engage in active listening

Make it clear to your adolescent that they can talk to you about anything that’s bothering them at any moment. Make sure they understand that you are always available to help and that you will listen to them without passing judgment when they come to you.

Examine certain concerns

Find out from them what exactly worries them. Once you have a clear understanding of the issue, you may begin to devise workable solutions.

Make use of free resources to assist

There are lots of free tools available to assist you and your young person in creating a budget. To assist people determine what they have coming in, what they’re spending, and where they might be able to decrease costs, Citizens Advice provide a free budget planner application, available at

Make sure your young person understands that their value is not determined by their financial situation and encourage them to avoid comparing themselves to other people. They could experience overwhelming financial stress and feel guilty or ashamed of themselves for having financial difficulties.

Look into inexpensive activities

Take a seat with your adolescent and make a list of inexpensive or free things they can do alone or with friends. Financial stress can feel isolating and it’s important to help combat those negative feelings where possible.

Student unions can provide support on coping with financial stress.

The students’ union and your young person’s institution will have financial counsellors available to provide assistance.

In addition, a lot of colleges have hardship funds designated for students who are having financial difficulties. Urge your adolescent to inquire about potential assistance from the union at their university.

Consult a mental health expert

Your young person can manage the emotional burden of their financial stress with the support of a mental health expert. Their concerns may be allayed by speaking with an unbiased professional who has received training in helping people manage their mental health.

Make contact with organisations and charities to receive assistance.

When they’re worried about money, young people can feel extremely isolated. Make sure they understand that you and other experts are here to support them in coping with financial stress any way possible.

Give them a list of organisations and organisations that offer financial guidance so they can get in touch with them if they need assistance.

Charities and organisations that can provide guidance and support:

StepChangewww.stepchange.org0800 138 1111
National Debtlinewww.nationaldebtline.org0808 808 4000
Debt Advice Foundationwww.debtadvicefoundation.org0800 043 40 50
Citizens 240 4420
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