Content warning: This piece discusses difficult topics like suicide. If you will feel triggered by this, please do not read. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s the one month out of the year when we try to bring awareness to mental health and all of its causes and effects. It’s been well known that financial problems can cause mental health problems. In fact, my friend Melanie Lockert, of Dear Debt, focuses on this very topic in her work. She learned years ago that many of the people were coming to her website because they were Googling about debt and suicide.

In honor of the theme for this month, Student Loan Planner ran a survey on mental health and student loan debt. Their readership is more likely to have high student loan balances, which influences the responses to the survey. Here is what they found:

Why are respondents feeling so awful? Because there is a sense of helplessness when there is so much debt and not enough income to match it. The 829 respondents of this survey are not alone. In fact, there are currently 44 million U.S. student loan borrowers who owe a total of 1.5 trillion dollars. This is especially painful now as wages have stagnated while education costs have increased.

This is especially true for those who have higher student loan balances. The survey found that one in nine borrowers who owe $80,000 to $150,000 in student loan debt considered suicide because of their debt. That’s almost double than that of overall student loan borrowers. The survey found that this range of borrowers were feeling the most pain because of their debt to income ratio. Their debt is high but their income is not necessarily high enough to cover it.

These are some pretty sobering and upsetting statistics. I don’t want to leave you with the bad and not propose any solutions or actions you can take. Here are just some of my ideas:

The moral of this article is that it’s normal and common to feel bad about your financial situation, especially when a lot of debt is involved. You’re far from the only person who feels this way. But it’s important to remember that your debt doesn’t define you. You have inherent worth outside of these things. Reach out and get help when you need it. Talk to a friend for family member, find a therapist, hire a coach, or call a hotline.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.