Written by Nicky Lowes 

 

New research conducted by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute has revealed that treatment administered by mental health professionals is being undercut by patients having to deal with financial insecurity.

Their report, which notes that a quarter of people suffering from mental illness are in problem debt, highlights that mental health professionals have to help their patients deal with issues relating to benefits and debt, rather than focusing on improving patients' mental health.

Mental health can severely impact a person's capability to deal with finances, with psychological factors such as compulsive and avoidant behaviour often resulting in a direct financial toll.

The practical tasks that such professionals have to deal with range from helping patients fill in benefit forms to giving practical advice about managing debt.

This research has particular significance to Gateshead; the 2017 GP Patient Survey data indicated that the percentage of the adult population in Newcastle and Gateshead diagnosed with both depression and anxiety is around 16.7%, which is significantly higher than the estimated England average of 12.7%. Other sources have highlighted that this issue is regional, with North East England having the highest rate of diagnosed common mental disorders in the country

In response to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute's research