Head of Portadown suicide charity warns on debt

Dr Arthur Cassidy
Dr Arthur Cassidy

The head of a Portadown suicide prevention charity is urging people to use restraint when Christmas shopping and avoid running up stressful credit card bills.

Dr Arthur Cassidy, from the Yellow Ribbon group, said chronic stress and anxiety over bills in January has the potential to cause higher levels of self-harm and family breakdown.

He said, “People, especially single parent families, are now finding Christmas financially too demanding and borrowing on credit cards with huge interest rates.

“Recent statistics in a large survey (www.memorisethis.com) show that 79 per cent of people in Northern Ireland were stressed out at having spent lots of money on presents that caused profound disappointment in recipients.”

He added that online shopping can often lead to isolation and increase credit card spending, and urged people to consider supporting local businesses.

Dr Cassidy added, “Coping skills are the best mechanism and we have a dedicated, professionally trained team on hand at all times.”