Money and Mental Health's 2017 Highlights
2017 has been our first full calendar year as an organisation, and what a year it’s been. We’ve carried out groundbreaking research, inspired trailblazing financial technology tools, and our first campaign gained national support from the Government.
To round up our year, the Money and Mental Health team have got together and picked a few of our personal highlights. You can share your favourite to help us spread the word, or share our pick here.
A commitment from the Prime Minister to Stop the charge for the Debt and Mental Health Evidence Form
“Our Stop the Charge campaign was the first big project I worked on at Money and Mental Health, so it was great to see Theresa May recognise its importance in January. We launched our campaign to bring an end to unfair charges for paperwork needed by creditors, to prove that people with mental health problems are unwell and deserve extra support. From hearing the heartbreaking experiences of Research Community members who went without food to afford the form, to then seeing it addressed at a national level, was brilliant. I can’t wait to watch this piece of work progress.”
Vital progress on integrating debt advice within mental health care
“After months of carefully surveying and interviewing my fellow mental health practitioners, it was a fantastic feeling to present their views and experiences of supporting people with financial difficulty to a room of policy makers in October. What was even better was the resounding agreement from leaders from health, social care, advice and political sectors that yes – we do need a more integrated response to the intertwined problems of money and mental health. As a result, we’re now looking for funding for a pilot to demonstrate the effectiveness of integrating money advice into the Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) programme.”
Completion of our very first internship
“A personal highlight for me isn’t just one moment, but instead my entire six month internship at Money and Mental Health. This opportunity has not only given me a breadth of learning experiences (including conducting interviews for our latest project, watching our research being presented at the Gambling Commission Conference, and attending Party Conferences), but was also a first for the organisation. It’s been really exciting to be part of the team, and I look forward to seeing who will follow me for what is now an established, and very successful, internship programme.”
Our hub of vulnerable customer best practice guides
“We don’t want to produce research reports that gather dust sitting on shelves, we want to develop practical policy solutions, and work with people to make them a reality. So we’ve developed snappy guides with steps that providers can take to make their services more inclusive and boost customers’ financial and emotional wellbeing. We’ve published guides for key sectors such as financial services, energy and telecoms, and we’ll continue to add to the hub next year. I’ve been so pleased with providers’ willingness to engage with our best practice guides so far, and I hope to see more adopting our recommendations in 2018!”
Changing banking for the better
“When he first launched Money and Mental Health Martin, our chair, made a film. In it, he set out a vision of a future where banks offer ‘high-control options’, available without judgement to people needing extra support to control their spending as a result of their mental health. So a personal highlight for me this year has been the launch of new products, tools and processes which do just that. There’s a lot left to do, but it’s exciting to see our hard working starting to make Martin’s vision – and now our team’s shared vision – into a reality.”
Our brilliant Research Community
“During my time at Money and Mental Health, working on our project exploring the financial impacts of a mental health crisis, I have been touched by how open people in our Research Community have been, about often very difficult situations. Their willingness to share stories of mental health crisis and financial difficulties, despite the stigma that so often surrounds these issues, means that our research will be high quality and well informed. It’s also gratifying to get a number of comments about how helpful talking about these issues has been for people themselves. Thank you!”
These are just a few highlights that we’ve put together, but do take a look to see what else we’ve been working on. We’d love to hear what your Money and Mental Health highlights are too – so please do tweet, Facebook or email us to let us know. You can also join our Professional Network to stay up to date with our progress in 2018.
We hope you’ve enjoyed being part of our journey this year. We wish you a restful and enjoyable festive break, and look forward to seeing you in the new year.