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#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – People With #MentalHealthProblems Should Be Asked About #Finances

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Links between debt, #mentalhealthproblems and #suicide must be a priority in #pandemic recovery plans, according to Money and #MentalHealth.

Vicky Shaw

The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute said links between debt, mental health problems and suicide must be a priority in pandemic recovery plans (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
The Money and #MentalHealth Policy Institute said links between debt, #mentalhealthproblems and #suicide must be a priority in #pandemic recovery plans

People receiving treatment for #mentalhealthproblems should be routinely asked about their finances as part of urgent action needed to stop a devastating debt cycle, according to a charity.

The Money and #MentalHealth Policy Institute said links between debt, #mentalhealthproblems and #suicide must be a priority in coronavirus #pandemic recovery plans.

GPs A&E departments and community #mentalhealthservices should routinely ask people receiving treatment for #mentalhealthproblems about their finances, and provide clear signposting to help those who need it, the charity said.

Banks, energy companies and other essential services providers should proactively identify customers who may be struggling and improve support, it added.

These shocking findings make it clear that too many people with #mentalhealth and debt problems were excluded from help and allowed to slip through the cracks, and the results have been disastrous.

Money and #MentalHealth, a charity set up by consumer champion Martin Lewis said people with #mentalhealthproblems were more likely to have fallen into serious debt during the #pandemic.

A survey in the summer found that over the previous 12 months, people with #mentalhealthproblems were more than twice as likely to have been behind on at least one payment (37% compared to 14% of those without #mentalhealthproblems).

The charity reported the findings after commissioning a survey of more than 5,000 people with lived experience of a #mentalhealthproblem and 1,000 people without #mentalhealthissues.

The State We’re In report also said that one in four (25%) people with #mentalhealthproblems have no savings that they could use for an urgent or emergency expense, a higher proportion than those without #mentalhealthproblems, at 18%.

Nearly half (46%) of people with a #mentalhealthproblem agreed with the statement, “I can’t afford to regularly save money”, compared with a third (33%) of those without #mentalhealthissues.

People with #mentalhealthproblems were more than twice as likely as those without to have relied on credit or borrowing to cover everyday spending such as on food or heating (26% compared with 11%).

More than two-fifths (44%) of UK #adults with #mentalhealthproblems who fell behind on bills last year either considered or attempted to take their own life, the report found.

It added that many people with #mentalhealth and #financial problems had missed out on payment holidays during the #pandemic.

Prevention is better, and in the long run cheaper for the nation, than cure

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

 

Commenting on the research, Mr Lewis, chairman of the Money and #MentalHealth Policy Institute, said: “The #pandemic financially split the nation. Many gained – those who had support and lower costs often built up savings.

“Yet for others, it was catastrophic, and it’s a national tragedy that a disproportionate number of that group are those struggling with their #mentalhealth who missed out on the support they need to avoid reaching crisis point.

“We’re only beginning to understand the full impact of the #pandemic on our lives. But these shocking findings make it clear that too many people with #mentalhealth and debt problems were excluded from help and allowed to slip through the cracks, and the results have been disastrous.

“This is about raising an alarm. Government #healthprofessionals and essential services need to double down on efforts to stop people with #mentalhealthproblems falling further into #financial hardship. Prevention is better, and in the long run cheaper for the nation, than cure.

“I hope the rhetoric about ‘building back better’ from the #pandemic is more than just a soundbite, as there is no time to waste – lives are at stake.”

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