Liam Hill, External Affairs Officer, Money and Mental Health
Introducing: Liam Hill
1 December 2022
We want to see a world in which “mental health problems aren’t a barrier to financial security, and financial problems aren’t an inevitable path to stress and worry.” I’ve lifted those words from my previous blog for Money and Mental Health, which I wrote almost four years ago.
At the time, I was about to finish Money and Mental Health’s six-month London Living Wage internship. (It’s a fantastic opportunity that I would thoroughly recommend. Excitingly, we are hiring for it again now.) I am delighted to be able to rejoin the team now as External Affairs Officer!
In this role, I’ll be working primarily on our digital communications and events. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in, sharing our work and supporting this fantastic team to break the link between mental health problems and financial difficulty.
Those twin objectives I mentioned at the start still sum up what Money and Mental Health is trying to do. In nearly four years since I finished my internship here, the team has had some important campaigning achievements.
Money and Mental Health has, to name a few:
- won the campaign to change the outdated and threatening language in debt collection letters
- secured commitments to fund debt advice
- led a coalition to get the government to include scam ads in the Online Safety Bill.
The team also has launched a whole new strand of work, Mental Health Accessible. This project involves us working with firms to make sure their services are accessible and supportive to customers experiencing mental health problems.
But in the last four years, we have all faced huge challenges. First, there was the pandemic and the lockdowns that came with it. And now, we are living through a torrid cost of living crisis.
To rejoin the team now is a wonderful opportunity, but also a responsibility: many people are living through an incredibly stressful time for their finances. The importance of campaigning to break the link between mental health problems and financial difficulty has grown.
Lots to do, lots to say
I am looking forward to sharing our work. Our #SetUpToFail campaign is one that resonates with me personally. I have spent time supporting a family member in trying to set up and manage their Universal Credit claim. The system is difficult enough to navigate when you’re feeling well. I’ve seen first hand how exhausting it can be to navigate for someone living with anxiety and depression.
We are calling on the government to make it easier for people to nominate someone to help them with their claim. It’s a change that could make a huge difference to people experiencing a mental health problem while trying to access the welfare system.
“I found the process of managing Universal Credit just horrendous and tough to follow, nothing is ever explained to you. At the moment I find it tough to deal with people as it’s hard to talk.” – Gary, expert by experience
Stories to tell
Money and Mental Health’s work begins with our Research Community, the almost 5,000 people whose comments, observations and feedback guides everything we do.
One of the best things about working in the External Affairs team is the opportunity to work with members of our Research Community to tell their stories. That can be in blogs, events or in our social media output. If you have a story you would like to share about your money and mental health, we always want to hear it.