A Govan man told an Oxfam researcher recently:
"You can smell desperation in the air. You don't know if anybody's married, because none of them has rings - it's all in the pawn."
That was for an Oxfam report looking at the impact of austerity across Europe. Earlier this week, Scotland's chief medical officer Harry Burns was highlighting the likely impact of austerity in Greece.
His point was that Scotland suffered a similar seismic shock with the closure of the Clyde shipyards, and its impact still reverberates today.
Sadly, Scotland is all too well aware of the damage poverty does to health. That does not make today's report from the Glasgow Centre for Population Health any less alarming.
The findings of the centre's ongoing GoWell research project indicate a significant rise in mental health problems related to financial stress.
It is hard for those who have never experienced it to appreciate the pressure that comes with working out how to pay rent, feed and clothe your children and cover bills when income is inadequate, week after week, year after year. The GoWell research shows such pressures appear to be growing.
Two in five single parent families, for example, are having difficulty paying for fuel, a figure which has doubled since 2006.
There is a clue to the impact this is having in the fact that between a fifth and a quarter of those whose money worries have increased have mental health issues. Many are reporting them to GPs for the first time.
The Scottish Association for Mental Health says its own research broadly mirrors the GoWell findings. People who have lost their jobs or taken a pay cut due to austerity are eight times more likely to have asked for help with a new mental health problem. The Scottish Government also acknowledges the link between debt and money worries and mental health.
There are limits to what Scottish ministers can do, of course. It would be naive to think that increasing money worries for some are not linked to Westminster welfare reforms such as the unjust and irrational "bedroom tax". Welfare cuts are surely also a factor in the fact that in households with a disabled person, 40% now struggle to afford fuel. More sanctions against those claiming benefits is leading to a culture of fear. Meanwhile workfare for job seekers cannot possibly help build self-respect and good mental health unless claimants feel there is the real prospect of a job and a future at the end of it.
GoWell researchers suggest children in socially deprived areas are seeing regeneration work stalled, so they may be adults before it is finished. That should be cause for concern. Instead we put up with a situation where more than 6000 children in Scotland have received food parcels in the last six months, far more than for the whole of last year.
Austerity measures now seriously risk blighting a generation of Scots. Measures to improve mental health services will help. But this is more confirmation that UK welfare policy is awry and whatever the outcome of next year's referendum, Scotland needs more control of its social security system.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.