Poor mental health can make earning and managing money harder. And worrying about money can make your mental health worse. It can start to feel like a vicious cycle.
Fighting for the mental health of people in poverty is one of our new strategic priorities as an organisation. Our Investing in Mental Health programme, which aims to support people with mental health problems to stay well by alleviating financial difficulty, is part of that.
In January 2021 we conducted a listening exercise, to hear from people with lived experience of money and mental health problems and understand their needs, experiences and frustrations. We are now working with 2CV, a specialist, award-winning global research agency, to conduct a research report on mental health and poverty, building on learnings from our listening exercise.
The findings from our initial listening exercise included that 31% of respondents saw their income reduce during the last year. This was backed up by Mind’s coronavirus research which found that people living in poverty were among the hardest hit by the pandemic.
We have developed new information about money and mental health, and the link between the two. This has been heavily informed by listening to people with lived experience of money problems and mental health problems, and what they told us would be helpful for them.
Four local Minds covering Croydon, Oxfordshire, Hackney/the City/Waltham Forest, and Manchester/Salford, delivered one-to-one case work supporting people with mental health problems to access the welfare payments they are entitled to. We are also providing telephone advice to people experiencing difficulties navigating the welfare and benefits system through a Welfare Rights Line Telephone Advisor.
In addition, we are working with four other local Minds covering Leeds, Lancashire, Middlesbrough & Stockton and Neath Port Talbot, to design and deliver a new integrated service offering financial wellbeing support for people with mental health problems.
Sharing stories about our experiences of money problems and mental health problems can help change attitudes, and show others who might be going through something similar that they’re not alone. On our blog you can read lots of stories from people about money and mental health, or share your own.
The Investing in Mental Health Programme is funded by Barclays as part of their £100m COVID-19 Community Aid Package, created to support charities that are helping people and communities most impacted by coronavirus.