Thousands are already feeling the strain with increasing energy prices and inflation and the crisis looks to be an ever-present concern well into next year. The National Office of Statistics discovered that 77% of British adults have reported feeling stressed as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.
At Mental Health UK, we know that people experiencing mental illness will be amongst those worst affected by the cost-of-living crisis. In the UK, it is estimated that 50% of people in debt also experience a mental health problem. And one in five people experiencing a mental health problem also experiences money issues.
If you are struggling with your finances and mental health – it is important to access support.
Mental Health & Money Advice
Mental Health & Money Advice (MHMA) have launched a cost-of-living hub providing information, signposting, tips and advice on the following areas:
- Dealing with money problems during the cost-of-living crisis – explains some of the things that you can do to help your household budget.
- How the cost-of-living crisis might affect your mental health – offers advice on the range of available support and resources you can access.
- What other effects might I see because of the cost-of-living crisis – explains the knock-on effects you may experience and how you can navigate these and nurture your wellbeing.
The Mental Health & Money Advice service (MHMA) also includes other useful resources such as:
- A blog on how to manage your mental health and money following the energy price rise
- A section on welfare benefits helping you to find out what help you might be eligible for and how to make a claim or appeal
- A section on the available options for dealing with debt
- A toolkit to help guide conversations with your relevant healthcare worker about your mental health and money
- Tips and ideas on how to manage your spending
With support from the MHMA service, the client below appealed her PIP and substantially increased her household income.
– Client supported by Mental Health & Money Advice
My friends and family have been encouraging me to apply for PIP as I have rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis - even the simplest of tasks are difficult. I was referred by my Social Prescribing Link Worker to the Mental Health & Money Advice Service (MHMA) to support my application. I have to admit, I was really anxious about applying for PIP. My partner’s application and appeal took over a year; during which time our daughter passed away. Since then, I have experienced severe anxiety and depression and have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But MHMA's support made all the difference.
At first, I was awarded PIP for standard daily living but not considered eligible for receiving the enhanced rate or the mobility component. It was only because of the support from my MHMA advisor that I decided to appeal the decision. [After the tribunal] .. I was awarded enhanced rate for both the daily living and mobility components., which significantly increased my monthly income by almost £400. I also received a substantial amount in back-pay. With the cost-of-living crisis looming the financial benefit is even more critical now.
My MHMA Advisor was there for me throughout the application – a total of 61 weeks - I am indebted to her. My anxiety has now significantly reduced and I am able to focus on the health and wellbeing of myself and my partner.
Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space
Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space is a piece of legislation that allows people receiving mental health crisis treatment a break from some of their financial worries. In England, MHMA are running the single point of entry for a mental health crisis breathing space and are taking referrals from nurses, social workers, care co-ordinator, the patient’s informal carer or the person in crisis themselves.
To be eligible for a Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space a person must:
- be in crisis treatment whether via a crisis house, crisis home treatment team, community mental health team or detained under the Mental Health Act;
- have the application approved by an Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHP) who will need to complete an evidence form to prove eligibility and suitability for the scheme;
- have their completed form submitted to the MHMA website who will then manage the referral process and if approved will be in touch every 30 days to see whether an extension is required.
Managing money worries
If the persistent negativity of the news is affecting your psychological wellbeing, there are ways you can stay in control, whilst ensuring you are kept informed. Read our blog on how to deal with news anxiety to support your mental health.
You might find yourself feeling stressed if you’re dealing with money worries. Have a look at our page on stress which gives you some advice about how to manage the symptoms of stress.
Your donation will make the difference
Just £10 could help pay for a call to our advice and information line, supporting someone living with mental illness who may be feeling in distress during this time.Donate today
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