New analysis of national data by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute estimates that 23,000 people in England were struggling in problem debt last year whilst in hospital for their mental health. This group are likely to be receiving calls and emails from banks, credit card companies, local authorities and other creditors whilst in acute distress, potentially feeling suicidal. Thousands more were in a similar position whilst receiving mental health crisis support in the community.
‘Recovery Space’, the new report published today, is the first in-depth study of the financial experiences of people in mental health crisis and their carers. Association of Mental Health Providers is proud to have supported this project through the Advisory Board, which included members with expertise from across mental health services, academia and third sector.
Kathy Roberts, Chief Executive of Association of Mental Health Providers, commented:
“The concept of having a Recovery Space make sense entirely and provides a real opportunity for those in crises to focus on their recovery instead of being hassled over debt. The extra breathing space that is needed could make the difference for someone and save their life. Association of Mental Health Providers is proud to have been a member of the Advisory Group for this project, looking at the economic consequences of mental health crisis, and are pleased to now be supporting the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute’s campaign calling on the Government to extend the Breathing Space scheme to protect people in crisis, without which tens of thousand of people are trapped in a spiral of escalating debts and worsening mental health.”
Under current government proposals out for consultation, people in problem debt would be given a fixed period without fees, charges, interest or collections activity if they seek debt advice. This is intended to allow time to get on top of debts before they spiral out of control, but would not support the tens of thousands of people in mental health crisis who are too unwell to either manage their finances alone, or to seek debt advice.
For more information, please contact Dania Hanif, Policy and Communications Lead, on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7766 7496.
 Recovery Space: Minimising the financial harm caused by mental health crisis, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, February 2018
 More information about the #RecoverySpace Campaign
 The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute was set up by Martin Lewis in spring 2016. It conducts research and develops policies for banks, lenders, regulators, the health service and government to help people with mental health problems protect themselves from financial difficulties and get out of debt.