Mental Health UK has announced the launch of a pioneering service designed to help the UK’s eight million people experiencing both poor mental health and money problems.
Mental Health and Money Advice is the first service to combine support for people with mental illness who are struggling with their money, as well as people whose money problems are affecting their mental health.
Recent research with over 1,500 professionals and people affected by poor mental health highlighted the need for specialist support.
Of those surveyed nearly nine out of ten (87 per cent) wanted answers to mental health and money questions. Almost eight out of ten (78 per cent) wanted this information provided on a website while half of respondents (49 per cent) wanted to speak to a trained member of staff over the phone.
Mental Health and Money Advice will be delivered by Mental Health UK, a new charity created by four mental health organisations: Rethink Mental Illness, Hafal, Support in Mind Scotland and MindWise. The launch of the service is made possible due to over £3 million of fundraising from Lloyds Banking Group as part of the Group’s two year charity partnership with Mental Health UK.
The free website provides a range of information, practical advice and tools such as template letters and calculators, tailored across the UK to ensure the advice is relevant and accurate. In addition, the website will feature stories and advice from people with first-hand experience of mental health and money problems. The service also includes an advice line which charities and debt organisations can use to refer people for specialist support.
Brian Dow, Managing Director of Mental Health UK, said
“Money problems and mental health issues like anxiety and depression can create a vicious cycle where problems can spiral. At its worst this can lead to debt, family breakdown and even homelessness.
“This is why we are launching this first of its kind service; to provide some of the eight million people who are affected with somewhere to turn to. Somewhere they can get advice they can rely on and specialist mental health support.
“This new service will be able to help someone with schizophrenia who needs support managing their money and accessing welfare benefits, and someone struggling to pay their debts and bills whose mental health is deteriorating as a result.
“The service has only been made possible by the significant and generous funds raised by Lloyds Banking Group and its colleagues. Their hard work will mean that this resource will be available for anyone struggling with their mental health and money.”
Fiona Cannon, Responsible Business and Inclusion Director at Lloyds Banking Group, said
“We are very proud to see Mental Health UK launch Mental Health and Money Advice today and look forward to seeing the positive impact the service will have on those affected by poor financial and mental health. For almost a year, Lloyds Banking Group colleagues have fundraised tirelessly to make this ambition a reality, raising over £3 million pounds so far this year and exceeding our £2 million annual target.
“Our colleagues feel passionately about this issue, which has been key to delivering the commitments we made to communities as part of our Helping Britain Prosper Plan.”
Tanya Partridge, 33 from Bristol said
“I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety following a period when I was in completely unmanageable debt.
“I was constantly anxious as it was on my mind all day every day. I couldn’t see a way out. I felt worthless, useless for getting myself into that situation. I had panic attacks and withdrew from people which impacted on my work life and friendships.
“I did get help from a variety services but they couldn’t help with the mental health side of things. I remember crying when speaking to them and no one even asked if I was OK.
“I can definitely see how helpful a mental health and money advice service would have been. I am now doing better now, but you really can’t underestimate how much financial stress can impact on your mental health.”
Mental Health and Money Advice marks an important milestone in the two year charity partnership between Lloyds Banking Group and Mental Health UK. The joint ambition of the partnership is to address the issues with mental health and money which is part of Lloyds Banking Group’s wider ambition to help Britain prosper through tackling social and economic issues.
To visit the Mental Health & Money Advice service please visit: http://www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org