Helen Undy, Chief Executive, Money and Mental Health
Introducing the Money and Mental Health general election manifesto
6 November 2019
It’s official – at midnight last night, Parliament was dissolved to pave the way for a general election, firing the starting gun for five weeks of intense political campaigning. Despite the best hopes of a few, it seems inevitable that Brexit will continue to dominate much of the debate between now and December 12. Yet the leaders of all major parties have also made it clear that they want to to look beyond Brexit and lay out their vision of the society they want to build, both now, and in the future.
At Money and Mental Health, we want to make sure that improving the mental and financial wellbeing of people across the country will form a key part of these plans. That’s why today, we’re excited to be publishing The Money and Mental Health Manifesto 2019, which sets out how this can be achieved.
Policies to break the link between money and mental health
In recent years, mental health has risen to the top of the policy agenda, with politicians of all stripes recognising the need to tackle stigma and to improve support for people experiencing mental health problems. At the same time, there has been an increased focus on tackling problem debt and ensuring that the economy works for everyone.
Too often, however, our mental and financial wellbeing are considered in isolation of each other, when they are in fact inextricably linked. People with mental health problems are three and a half times more likely to be in problem debt, while nearly half of all people in problem debt also have a mental health problem. One issue can feed off the other, creating a spiral of growing financial difficulty and worsening mental health that is hard to escape. More than 1.5 million people in England alone are currently trapped in this vicious cycle.
If we want to build a fairer, kinder and healthier society, breaking this link needs to be a priority for us all. So we’re calling on all political parties to commit to taking action on the these five areas if elected:
- Tackle the link between suicide and financial difficulty
- Make money advice available as part of NHS care
- Help people with mental health problems to stay in work – and support those who are too unwell to do so
- Stop firms profiting from consumers’ poor mental health
- Make it easier and safer for carers to support loved ones with money management.
Our full manifesto contains a detailed set of policy proposals to help the parties make these a reality.
Hitting the campaign trail
These changes can make a world of difference to millions of people across the UK, and could even save lives. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be doing some campaigning of our own, to try and ensure that tackling the link between mental health problems and financial difficulty is a matter of urgency for the next government. You can do your bit to help us, by sharing our manifesto on social media, and raising these issues with your local parliamentary candidates, as well as tagging them in tweets.