Film: Access essentials

“I just get so anxious that I can’t bring myself to open the letters. I feel like these companies don’t have systems that work for me.”

Millions of people with mental health problems are left unable to effectively use essential services due to difficulties with tasks like making telephone calls, opening the post or navigating complex online forms. Watch John’s story setting out why we need to think differently about accessibility.

Our latest research found that:

  • Over half of people with mental health problems (54%) have serious difficulties using the phone to carry out essential admin (compared to 32% of people without mental health problems).
  • Four in ten people with mental health problems have severe ‘admin anxiety’, causing symptoms like breathlessness, sweating or shaking.
  • A significant number said dealing with essential services providers, like banks, energy companies or internet providers when they are unwell can lead to panic attacks and even suicidal feelings.

To help firms better serve this group of customers, the Institute is developing the UK’s first set of accessibility standards for mental health.

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