Alice Rose, Head of Programmes, Money and Mental Health
Introducing: Alice Rose
4 March 2020
For many of us, we take for granted accessibility, whether that’s being able to walk up the stairs, or being able to read important documents like bank statements. But for some, these things can be huge challenges.
Accessibility considerations have improved in recent years. For example, adjustments for physical disabilities like literature in braille format and wheelchair access are commonplace (although even these more well known adjustments can still be woefully inadequate at times). But what are the mental health equivalents? And do essential services providers like banks, energy providers and telecommunication firms even understand what challenges someone with a mental health problem might have when interacting with their services?
I’ve joined Money and Mental Health to lead Mental Health Accessible, our programme to help essential services providers make it easier for people with mental health problems to choose, use and pay for their services.
I’ve spent my career setting up strategic partnerships for the not-for-profit sector, including roles at Action on Hearing Loss, Shelter, Macmillan Cancer Support and Transport for London. Traditional charity partnerships focus on fundraising, which of course is essential for a charity to exist. However, my passion has been establishing ‘change partnerships’. By that I mean, working with a company to create real impactful change for our beneficiaries and their customers.
When I was working at Macmillan Cancer Support I set up an award winning partnership with Lloyds Banking Group, establishing a specialist cancer support team and equipping this team with the right policies and processes to be able to support customers facing financial vulnerability as a result of a cancer diagnosis.
A balancing act
More recently, I have been focusing on a very different kind of project, my baby. Nine months ago I welcomed Henry into the world and he’s kept me busy ever since. The last nine months have been full of smiles and adorable outfits, but they have also been really tough. The constant new-mum anxiety coupled with sleep deprivation actually made me start to envy those doing the daily commute. Of course, when the time came to walk out the front door last Monday morning, I knew I was going to miss all the nursery rhymes, giggles, and food on the floor. So not only am I starting a new job I’m embarking on a new challenge of being a working parent.
My 2020 vision
Following the completion of a pilot partnership of Mental Health Accessible with Lloyds Bank later this year, I’m going to roll this out to other essential services providers. This means there is an exciting opportunity for firms to snap up the position of ‘first in their sector’. My goal is to have at least three firms sign up to this programme in 2020 and commit to becoming mental health accessible. A longer term ambition is to see at least the minimum standard of mental health accessibility consistently delivered with all service providers. No one should be falling into financial difficulty because of the barriers they face in using the services we all rely on.