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Debt and mental health problems often ‘inextricably linked’

Money Advice Trust welcomes Money & Mental Health report

The Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, has welcomed a new report from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute examining the relationship between financial difficulties and mental health problems.
The newly-launched Institute’s flagship report, Money on your Mind, draws on the experiences of nearly five and a half thousand people with mental health problems, finding that;
  • 72 percent of those surveyed said their mental health problems have made their financial situation worse, and not just as a result of having less money to spend
  • 93 percent say they spend more when they are unwell
  • 92 percent find it harder to make financial decisions
  • 59 percent have taken out a loan that they wouldn’t otherwise have taken
The report is published at a time when the issue of vulnerability more widely is high on the agenda in the wake of the FCA’s Occasional Paper and the report of the British Bankers’ Association’s Vulnerability Taskforce, chaired by Money Advice Trust chief executive Joanna Elson OBE. 
Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said:
“On the frontline of debt advice, we know that debt and mental health problems are often inextricably linked.  These findings shows just how crucial it is that financial services firms, advice providers and health professionals work together to get people the help and support they need.
“Fortunately the issue of making sure that all people in vulnerable circumstances receive the support they need has never been higher on the agenda.  This important piece of research into the experiences of thousands of people will help us all to continue to shape and improve the help available for people in financial difficulty.
“I would like to congratulate Martin Lewis and the team at Money and Mental Health for launching this initiative – the new institute is a welcome addition to the sector and we look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
This month the Money Advice Trust and other advice sector organisations published a new guide for advice agencies on treating clients in vulnerable situations fairly, building on the charity’s existing 12-step guidance for creditors on vulnerability.
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