Politics not among our top concerns

People are far less concerned about UK politics and international affairs than they have been at any time in the last four years, according to a charity survey.

These issues have fallen out of people's top five worries for the first time since the Samaritans carried out this survey in 2009.

This year people were found to be more worried about money, debt and their bank balance - despite the survey being carried out the day before the Leveson report was published and the vote on Palestine was taken at the United Nations.

The YouGov poll of 2,162 people found 19% of respondents were most worried about domestic politics or the current Government, compared with 29% last year. Just 16% had similar concerns about world affairs - an even larger fall from 27% in December 2011.

Although money worries topped the poll, those placing financial concerns at the top of their list fell slightly from 50% in 2011 to 49% this year. The Samaritans say this figure ties in with the number of calls they have received about financial stress, which has fallen from one in five calls in 2011 to one in six calls this year.

There has also been a significant rise in the numbers of people who are hopeful that their financial situation will improve during the next year, up a full 10% from 31% in 2011 to 41%.

Years of worry over money and debt seem to have taken a toll on the nation's concerns about problems with families, friends and relationships. Worries in this area have risen from 33% in 2011 to 38% today.

There has also been a rise in expressed concerns over physical health, up from 32% a year ago to 35% now.

A new question asking how people deal with their worries found that only 37% of those who had worries in 2012 chose to talk about their problems, 29% preferred just to "grin and bear it", and 26% would have a social drink.

Samaritans has recently launched We're in your Corner - a campaign aimed at men in their 30s, 40s and 50s from the lower socio-economic groups who are at higher risk of suicide.

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