New research shows over 20,000 people in England were struggling with problem debt last year whilst in hospital for their mental health.
That’s tens of thousands of people likely to be receiving calls and emails from banks, credit card companies, local authorities and other creditors whilst in acute distress, potentially feeling suicidal. Thousands more were in a similar position whilst receiving mental health crisis support in the community.
The Government is introducing a new ‘Breathing Space’ scheme, to give people in problem debt a window without fees or charges, and where they won’t be pursued by creditors if they seek debt advice.
But this won’t support the tens of thousands of people in mental health crisis who are too unwell to either manage their finances alone, or to visit a debt advisor.
Supported by 23 national organisations, we called on the Government to extend the Breathing Space scheme to people in hospital for their mental health, or under the care of a crisis team in their local community. Over 10,000 people also backed our campaign by adding their name to our letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt. Hon. Philip Hammond MP, which we delivered to Downing Street along with members of our Research Community.
CAMPAIGN UPDATE: We are delighted to announce that on Tuesday 24th April, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, responded to our campaign by committing to making Recovery Space happen. You can read the Government’s full statement, during the final Financial Guidance and Claims Bill debate in Parliament, in this blog by our Director Simon Crine.
We are thrilled that the Government has taken action and would like to thank everyone involved for making this happen. Help us share the good news on social media below!