Relationship counselling soars as money worries grow

Sat Dec 6, 2008 9:21am EST
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Couples are struggling to stay together as they face money worries and the threat of redundancy in the economic downturn, said counseling service Relate, which has seen its workload soar.

Relate on Saturday reported a rise of almost 60 percent in the number of couples seeking help with their relationships in October and November this year as compared with last year.

"The problems are to do with the recession, to do with job insecurity, to do with interest rates changing and also the escalating costs of running the family," Christine Northam, a spokeswoman for Relate, told BBC radio.

"If you're dealing with these anxieties all on your own it can be very isolating, and can lead to depression and anxiety. It can impact on the relationship and that will impact on your children."

Relate said it had received more than 7,500 calls in October to November this year, compared with about 5,000 in the same period of 2007.

With its reliance on financial services and high levels of personal debt, Britain's economy has been particularly hard hit by the global credit squeeze.

House prices have dropped 18 percent since last August, unemployment is soaring and consumer confidence has crashed. Many stores are slashing prices in a desperate bid to pull in shoppers in the run-up to Christmas.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Janet Lawrence)