People experiencing mental health problems find it much harder to choose, use and pay for essential services like water, broadband, energy and financial products and as a result are three times more likely to be in problem debt.
Just one of the facts revealed last month, by Katie Evans, Head of Research and Policy from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) during a one-day visit hosted by Leeds City Council’s Public Health team. The Institute was set up just over 2 years ago by Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert.com fame.
Katie delivered a lunchtime seminar with Taira Kayani from Better Leeds Communities and Joe Kent from BARCA-Leeds at the Public Health Resource Centre in Chapel Allerton. Katie met key stakeholders from the Council, advice sector, mental health providers, and frontline workers with an interest in debt and mental health.
So what other information was revealed?
Here are some headlines from Katie, Taira and Joe’s presentations:
- People experiencing mental health problems are 3x more likely to be in problem debt
- 86% say their financial position has made their mental health problems worse
- 72% said their mental health problems had made their financial situation worse
- Mental health problems can affect attention span, memory, impulsivity, planning
- 93% spent more than usual (whilst experiencing mental health problems)
- 59% took out a loan that they wouldn’t otherwise have done
- Likelihood of effective treatment (e.g. IAPT) is much lower if problem debt isn’t dealt with
- Debt advice works – 76% reduced debts within 3-6 months and 71% felt less stressed
Patient Empowerment Project (PEP) and Debt Advice Outreach Project
- Better Leeds Communities have provided a dedicated Debt Outreach Service that works with PEP (social prescribing) Link workers, including joint home visits
- 254 people supported over 3 years, managing total debt of £1.3million
- 88% of people reported the support has increased their financial stability
The full presentations can be downloaded from the Public Health Resource Centre website – scroll down to ‘Related Documents’:
Money Information Centre (Leeds MIC) website brings together all support services for Leeds residents who are experiencing financial difficulty.
Hard copies of the ‘Help with managing your money’ booklet are available from most Council Hubs, One Stops, Libraries, and the Public Health Resource Centre.