Published Monday, 25 June 2012
Money worries are causing people in Northern Ireland to contemplate suicide. (© Getty)
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) helps hundreds of families or individuals in the region every month.
People in Northern Ireland face the greatest disparity between their income levels and the size of their debt compared to the rest of the UK.
NI clients have an average income of £11,639 and owe, on average, £15,825 - a figure which includes both priority debt such as housing, utility bills and secondary debt in the form of credit cards, unsecured loans.
New research released suggests that up to 30 lives in Northern Ireland are being saved from suicide every month thanks to the debt counselling charity.
CAP partners with local churches to give unique face-to-face, long-term help to people in financial crisis.
On Monday, at Stormont, politicians, health professionals and creditors will hear how 49% of Northern Irish clients surveyed had contemplated suicide as a way out of their debt problems.
Chris Cupples, CAP's NI National Development Manager, said: "There is a lot of stress and anxiety involved when you cannot provide for the family and home - especially when you think no one can help."
"The reality is, the churches are working together and making a difference. During the last three years, we have helped more than a thousand clients and their families.
"Many of those people are alive today because that burden of worry has been lifted and they tell us they no longer dread the knock at the door; that they are happier and healthier and are looking to the future."
Christians Against Poverty telephone: 0800 328 0006
CAP launched in Northern Ireland just three years ago and now has 13 centres across the region.