“It is literally killing people.” That is the stark message from a charity founder who says she is inundated with desperate people threatening to commit suicide over financial problems.
Mum Amanda Williamson, who set up the R.E.S.T. (Remembering Every Suicide Trauma) Foundation last year to offer counselling to the friends and relatives of suicide victims, claims two people every day are coming through her doors because they are thinking of taking their own lives because of problems with money.
Mrs Williamson is herself due to appear at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court for late payment of her council tax on July 16, and she says new Government rules are driving more and more people to desperate measures.
She hopes publicising her upcoming case will help to raise awareness of the problem.
Mrs Williamson said: “I can’t stop these people from feeling that way unless I make a stand myself. It’s getting horrendous and I understand where these people are coming from, I understand why these people are suicidal.”
Since she began, Mrs Williamson estimates 20 people have visited the charity’s Lytham Road base, in South Shore, because of the problem.
In addition, figures show one in six calls made to Samaritans is about financial stress.
Rachel Kirby-Rider, from the charity, said: “Although we know that worries about money or the threat of losing a home can cause stress and depression, it’s also important to understand that suicide is complex.
“It’s seldom the result of a single factor and likely to have several inter-related causes.”