Media comment: Citizen's advice mental health research

Friday 5th August 2016

Speaking about today’s announcement by Citizen’s Advice that people with poor mental health are twice as likely to be behind on bills, Sheila Wheeler, Director of UK Debt Advice for the Money Advice Service said:

“We know that mental health issues and debt can go hand in hand. Our own research shows that over half (52%) of clients who have received debt advice from Money Advice Service funded partners also have a mental health condition. We have been working in partnership with the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) on the Making Advice Work (MAW) programme. This consists of a range of pilot projects designed to specifically target advice at vulnerable groups of people, including those with mental health issues. The programme has enabled us to learn what works to reach vulnerable people who have debt advice needs, and how organisations can work in partnership across mental health and debt advice sectors to achieve this.

“It is important that a person’s debt situation is looked at as a whole, and that they have access to the different types of support they need, be it mental health or debt advice. We would also encourage close referral partnerships between all agencies, so that people experiencing debt are provided with timely and appropriate support and advice. Our learning and experience through our MAW programme puts us in a position to help facilitate such partnerships into the debt sector, and we would welcome the opportunity to work with organisations who want to encourage people to get debt advice. More information about the Making Advice Work programme can be found on the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) website.”