Mental Health Week 2019
This week is Mental Health Week, a yearly event hosted by the Mental Health Foundation to raise awareness of mental health issues, the effects they can have on people's lives and what help is available.
Turn2us has long recognised the relationship between mental health and money. We want to see a much better understanding of this across the UK.
We would urge anyone struggling financially or worried about their mental health to get help as soon as possible.
Money and mental health
Stress about financial difficulties can cause mental health problems and poor mental health can affect a person's ability to earn money.
Just understanding and navigating the complicated benefits system can cause emotional distress. It may also make claimants with mental health problems more likely to be sanctioned, if they are unable to fulfil conditions attached to some benefits, such as attending interviews or participating in work-related activities.
2019 research by York University showed that people with mental health conditions are at far greater risk of having benefits stopped than those with physical health problems, when switching from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP). (1)
People with mental health issues are also more likely to be in debt (2). If they can't work or have to take sick leave, their income may be affected. Some mental health conditions can lead to impulsive behaviour that makes sense at the time but leaves the person with debts. Many may not have the energy needed to manage spending and keep control of it.(3)
Life-changing events, such as bereavement, illness or disability, caring for someone or losing a job can have enormous effects on income and mental health.
Making enough to live is becoming more and more difficult for many people. A recent European Council on Foreign Relations survey has suggested that the number of working people failing to make ends meet is creating a new, insecure level of society, with work often insecure, sporadic and so low paid it doesn't even cover essential bills. (4)
Use Turn2us to find help
You can use our Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to benefits. Even if you checked before, it is worth doing so again using the most up-to-date information.
Find out if you are eligible for help through a grant or other support from a charitable fund by using our Grants Search.
The Your Situation section of our website has information pages on common situations that people may find themselves in.
We also have a Find an Adviser tool to help you find face-to-face advice in your local area. This includes local Mind and other mental health charities in your area.
If you are in debt, seek help from a debt advice organisation. There are some listed on our Debt information page.
Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, has a new debt guide which sets out the steps you need to take when dealing with debt.
Mental health charities
If you are experiencing mental health problems, discuss this with your GP as a matter of urgency.
Mind has a useful section on Money and Mental Health on its website.