Conor D’Arcy, Interim Chief Executive, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute

Introducing our Interim Chief Executive

26 May 2023

  • Conor D’Arcy has taken on the role of Interim Chief Executive at Money and Mental Health during the Helen Undy’s maternity leave
  • Conor is incredibly proud of the team at Money and Mental Health, who have shown incredible commitment and hard work in addressing the challenges faced by people with mental health problems
  • The organisation has focused on both immediate issues and long-standing problems, such as poorer outcomes for individuals with mental health problems in insurance and pensions
  • The team is also expanding with new roles and recruitment opportunities, aiming to continue their impactful work and grow the Research Community.

I joined Money and Mental Health just over three years ago, which feels both like yesterday and a decade ago. Like yesterday, because the time has absolutely flown, as it tends to do when you’re enjoying what you’re doing. Like a decade, because so much has happened in those three years: the pandemic, the cost of living crisis, three prime ministers…

A great team

What’s also zipped by has been the last few weeks with Helen, our Chief Executive, who I’ll be covering for while she’s on maternity leave. We’ve had a good handover period, during which I’ve probably exhausted her trying to soak up as much of her knowledge and wisdom as possible before she heads off. 

Today is my first day in the role – I nearly wrote ‘flying solo’, but with the amazing team around me, it really doesn’t feel that way. Throughout all that turmoil in the outside world, the team’s incredible commitment and hard work is one thing that’s remained consistent. 

Their efforts to respond to those developments, thinking quickly and ambitiously, has helped make sure the challenges people with mental health problems face have been part of the discussion.

Our upcoming work

While we’ve been responsive, we’ve also dug into longstanding, thorny issues like poorer outcomes for people with mental health problems in insurance and pensions (coming soon). Our research projects over this year maintain that mix of addressing the realities people are facing now without being distracted from deep-seated problems. 

We’ll be looking at how the threat of losing your home affects the mental health of mortgagors, as well as exploring how the relationship between money and mental health plays out over years, rather than just a snapshot.

As ever, we want to go beyond simply understanding the harms and get to policy solutions, and take them to people who can make change happen. That’s one of the main reasons I’ve loved my time here so far, seeing the impact we’ve had: from the government’s Online Safety Bill placing a duty on Big Tech to prevent scam adverts appearing on their services, to securing greater funding for face-to-face debt advice. 

That focus on impact is also the core of our work through Mental Health Accessible, with the team getting started with new firms in new sectors.

Reshuffling the team - and growing too!

So while we’ll miss Helen over the next nine months, we’ve got fantastic resources to draw on. That includes some new roles within the team, with Brian Semple becoming Interim Director of External Affairs and Income, and Nikki Bond taking over from me as Interim Head of Research and Policy. 

We’re also recruiting for two roles – one paid, six-month internship in our External Affairs team, and one Officer-level role helping to grow and support our fantastic Research Community. Please do apply or pass them on if you or someone you know is interested.

We couldn’t do it without you

Beyond the staff team, there’s our advisory board, which we’ll be adding new members to soon; and our incredible trustees, who are so generous in sharing their time, advice and encouragement. 

Last but very much not least, there’s our Research Community of experts by experience, who are at the heart of everything we do. We’re always looking to grow the number of voices we hear from, so if you have experience of mental health problems – or of caring for someone who does – and you want to support our work, please sign up here.

I’m sure the next nine months will absolutely fly by too, but I’m very excited to get to work.