Lines Henry Insolvency Practitioners, based in the “prosperous” town that surprisingly makes more internet searches for payday loans than anywhere else in the UK, is spearheading a nationwide initiative to help reduce the number of debt-related suicides and breakdowns. Altrincham-based Lines Henry Ltd. will next month (Sept 26) be hosting a debt and mental health workshop designed to equip professionals dealing with people in distressing debt to recognise underlying mental health issues and possible suicidal tendencies. The one-day training workshop, being delivered by the Campaign for Awareness of Mental Illness Among Debtors (CAMIAD) also advises professionals across a broad range of disciplines how to signpost individuals on for the appropriate counselling or medical treatment. It is being held at the practices Altrincham head offices following data release by Google showing that people in the affluent areas of Alrincham and Hale made more online enquiries about short-term high-interest payday loans than anywhere else in Britain. Company director Neil Henry commented:

“It may well have come as a surprise to many people to learn that Altrincham, which is thought to be a prosperous area of Trafford, has more people than anywhere else in the country trying to find out more about payday loans. “However, what this shows is that there is no stereotypical person with money worries. It is important to remember that you cannot judge a person’s financial position by looking at what car they have or how big their house is. “You need to look below the surface at how all these things are paid for and whether or not they are actually affordable. Money worries are not confined to those on low incomes but also those on higher incomes who may have made poor decisions on how to manage their money”

Lines Henry, who have other offices at Wigan, Littleborough and Sheffield were established as a result of a merger 18 years ago. They deal with all aspects of personal and corporate insolvency, including liquidations, administration, company and individual IVAs and bankruptcies. Their website lists many of the comment s made by people at their wits end as a result of overwhelming debt. They include: “I’m worried to death about debt”, “People I owe money to are harassing me, calling me at home and at work.” and “I have to do something. It’s driving me to despair” CAMIAD co-founder, insolvency practitioner Ian Williamson, who has practices in Northwich, Cheshire and Blackpool;, said: “ As professionals we have the skills and training to find solutions to people financial problems but we need to be trained how to be aware of any serious mental health issues they may have and how to deal with them. It can save lives” The courses, at the practices Tabley Court offices off Victoria Street, will be led by CAMIAD’s chief trainer, Nigel Crompton, a senior mental health nurse and Director of Service Development at the Ki Group a social enterprise company delivering mental health and well-being services across the NHS, local authorities and corporate organisations.

He said: “During debt counselling. suicide is often the elephant in the room and professionals, who don’t have training in such matters, are often wary abut raising the issue with debtors. “Our experience has shown, however, that most people will experience a great sense of relief if they are feeling suicidal and are asked about it in the right way”.

Anyone interested in booking a place on the September 26 course or seeking additional information should contact either Lisa McAllister at Lines Henry Ltd, on 0161 929 1905