Debt advice service extends to Crossmaglen

June 8, 2010

By Brónagh Murphy

A free and confidential debt advice service has been extended to Crossmaglen with the opening of an outreach centre in the town.

Debt Action NI provides the service, which is implemented through Mindwise charity, in Crossmaglen Community Centre every Friday from 10.00am to 4.00pm.  The ‘drop-in’ facility is aimed at anyone who needs face to face help with debt or financial issues.  Professionally trained advisers will assess each individual’s circumstances and offer confidential and impartial advice on the best options available to them.

Funding has been provided jointly by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Industry (DETI) and Ulster Bank and the project is being rolled out throughout the Newry and Mourne area.

Newry-based Mindwise is tasked with facilitating the service.  Although Mindwise is a leading mental health charity, the service is open to anyone and can offer advice on a wide range of debt and money issues. This can include basic advice on income maximisation, budgeting, debt management plans, and more serious issues like bankruptcy and repossessions.

Bill Halliday, Chief Executive of MindWise, said the charity is delighted to be partnering with Advice NI to deliver this invaluable service to all individuals in the local area who need help and advice to manage their debts.

“Our charity is aware that there is a link between debts and the issue of mental illness. Those that are experiencing a mental illness are often more likely to fall into difficulties with money and debt issues due to the nature of some of the symptoms of the condition, and anyone with debt issues will no doubt be under considerable mental stress which can be a contributor towards the onset of a mental illness,” Mr Halliday said.

“Seeking advice early on debt issues is a meaningful and beneficial step for anyone to take in order to help protect their mental health.”

Anyone wishing to access the service in Crossmaglen should contact Alison Smyth by telephoning 07578 497922 or by email

A website dedicated to the service has also been set up through which appointment requests can be emailed and further information downloaded.  Log on to