The Mental Health and Money Advice Service is the first UK-wide advice service that is dedicated to helping people affected by both mental health and money issues, launched back in 2017 by Mental Health UK.
The Scottish arm of the Mental Health and Money Advice Service is based within the charity Change Mental Health and we have counterpart projects in England through Rethink, Northern Ireland via Mindwise and Wales through Adferiad Recovery.
We offer specialist and impartial advice, advocacy and representation on both mental health and money issues. This can be facilitated over the telephone, virtual platforms, online and face-to-face.
Our website also houses key informative resources that cover a wide range of advice and tips on welfare benefits, managing money and advice surrounding debt.
With the current cost-of-living crisis squeezing into everyone’s pockets it has never been more important to reach out to the service for mental health and financial support.
Why is there a stigma surrounding financial well-being?
Money and mental health are intrinsically linked as facing financial difficulties has been proven to negatively affect mental health.
A YouGov poll shows that more than half of Scots are worried about the impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on their mental health.
Traditionally, money has always been a stigmatised topic and one that people often feel ashamed to ask for support. This can be due to a range of factors such as:
- societal pressures
- the shame of not wanting to burden others
- feeling guilty about being in debt
- thinking that you should be more successful than you are
- worried that others will judge your financial situation.
The Mental Health and Money Advice Service is here to let everyone know that they are not alone with their money worries and that there is a plethora of support available.
The Impact of the Cost-of-Living Crisis
2022 was a challenging year for all of us due to the cost-of-living crisis affecting everyone’s finances.
According to a ScotPulse poll of over 1,000 adults across Scotland, a third of Scots are concerned about their ability to pay for food and essentials with four in ten adults worried about paying debt repayments.
Just like millions of other families across the nation, you may be feeling low and worrying about how you will manage your finances during the ongoing crisis. However, help is available.
At Mental Health and Money Advice, we recognise that financial difficulty can have a negative effect on your mental health and create a very isolating experience.
We have created a series of resources on our website specifically relating to the cost-of-living crisis and its effect on mental health.
We also have a range of money-managing tools that can help with budgeting. You can download the free mental health and money toolkit which is an excellent way to help you manage your mental and financial health.
You can also access this free budget planner which will help you to manage your finances and prioritise bills.
Ways that the Mental Health and Money Advice Service Can Assist You with Money Concerns
If your mental health or finances are affected by the cost-of-living crisis it is important to get in touch with the Mental Health and Money Advice Service as we offer a wide range of support.
We can apply for grants whether that’s for living costs, clothes, furniture, fuel debt or ongoing energy costs.
Our advisors can also perform benefit checks to see if you are entitled to any welfare benefits that you are not already claiming that will help to boost your income.
We are specially trained to help people apply for benefits, appeal negative decisions, and represent clients at tribunals.
We also provide an extensive range of support in relation to debt. As well as advising on debt management we can also negotiate with creditors, discuss options for repaying debts, challenge liability and advise on debt solutions.
Our partnership with Scottish Gas Networks (SGN) over the last year has been very rewarding as together we have been able to assist vulnerable people in Scotland who are affected by the rising energy costs. Providing information on energy safeguarding and offering holistic advice and advocacy to ensure that everyone has a comfortable home during these extremely challenging economic times.
To find out more about the advice that we offer and keep up to date with the work that we carry out please check out the Mental Health and Money Advice website.
Clare Johnston is the Content Writer for Mental Health and Money Advice Service at Change Mental Health.