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24 July, 2020 Open access

Urgent action needed to ensure that people with mental health problems can access the debt advice they need in aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic

'Taking small steps to make support more accessible would make a big difference', says Money and Mental Health Policy Institute

Urgent action is needed to ensure that people with mental health problems can access the debt advice they need in the aftermath of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute.

In a new report, Help Along the Way, Money and Mental Health says that, with almost half of those in problem debt having a mental health problem, symptoms such as difficulties communicating, impaired clarity of thought and reduced concentration or problem-solving skills, can make it difficult to engage with debt advice.

Based on a survey undertaken by the charity of 280 people with experience of mental health problems who have tried to access debt advice, the report highlights three key challenges people face in getting the right debt advice -

As a result, Money and Mental Health recommends that -

Interim Chief Executive of the Money and Mental Health Katie Alpin said -

'With millions more people facing debt problems and distress because of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that people can access debt advice in a way that meets their needs.

This support can be life-changing, but too many people with mental health problems are missing out. The challenges of dealing with poor mental health, and the inflexibility of the debt advice system, can make it almost impossible for people to get the help they need with debt problems.

We know that the debt advice sector is facing unprecedented pressures and demand. But taking small steps to make support more accessible would make a big difference in helping more people avoid financial difficulty in the coming months and years.'

For more information, see Action needed to ensure people in distress can access 'life-changing' debt support in pandemic aftermath from moneyandmentalhealth.org