6 May 2010

Budget advisers see 'despair' over money worries

1:32 pm on 6 May 2010

A family budgeting service in south Auckland says more people are arriving on its doorstep with depression because of money worries.

The head of the Mangere Family Budgeting Service, Darryl Evans, who chairs a network of agencies around the Auckland region, says it has seen an increase of 15% to 20% in the number of people who have turned up over the past year with mental health problems because of money issues.

"The staff are constantly telling me that they're seeing clients who sit there in tears for the entire hour ... they're seeing husbands and wives arguing in front of them, verbal abuse and depression and in some extreme cases physical abuse is evident."

Mr Evans says some middle- to low-income earners are in despair over a raft of tax changes, levy and rent hikes and power and petrol price increases on top of the recession and lost jobs.

His agency has employed a full time counsellor and is co-ordinating with other mental health professionals.