Giving people with mental health problems equal access to vital services

Vulnerability: the experience of debt advisers

Challenges and opportunities for supporting debt advice clients in vulnerable situations

13 November 2018

This research presents new evidence on the experience, challenges, and opportunities that debt advisers face when working with clients in vulnerable situations (including those with mental health problems).

It is published by the University of Bristol in partnership with the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute and the Money Advice Trust.

The report shows that:

    • 3 in 4 advisers spoke with someone who disclosed suicidal thoughts or feelings in the last 12 months
    • 4 in 10 people with mental health problems receiving debt advice did not disclose their condition to their advisor
  • People often do not disclose mental health problems to advisors as they they will not be treated sensitively, or that it will not make any difference to their situation.

The report also contains practical guidance and tools to help advisers with challenges such as recognising vulnerability, approaching a conversation about vulnerability and recording information in an appropriate manner.