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Article published on: Tuesday, 07 March 2023

Buckinghamshire Mind and Citizens Advice Bucks have recently joined forces and commissioned a research report to explore how the two charities can work together to help those affected by the cost of living crisis. The research report has been released today and can be read in full by clicking below.

The relationship between finances and mental health is something both charities have been aware of long before the cost of living crisis and is something they see every day.

The connection between money and mental health was clearly highlighted in the report, with 92% of respondents saying that they felt that money impacted their mental health.

The report has helped the two charities understand more about this important area. With thanks to all the people who took part, both Citizens Advice Bucks and Buckinghamshire Mind can look at how they can better help serve people who are facing mental health challenges as well as financial worries by working together and drawing on each other’s expertise.

Man looking overwhelmed

Thalia Jervis, CEO at Citizens Advice Bucks, said:

Working with Buckinghamshire Mind is a great opportunity. We all know that money issues can have negative effects. Our volunteers hear this all the time. Having a report that gives a voice to the people of Bucks is so important. It also highlights where we could be doing more and will be used to inform our future service design. The report makes for sad and salutary reading – but demonstrates just how important the work is that we are doing. We want to tackle the feelings of stigma about asking for help and provide them with the advice and support they need to get back on track.

This research asked people in Buckinghamshire how they felt about their money problems and what might stop or encourage them to ask for help. It also explored what support people would like to see in services available to help.

Most respondents (again over 90%) felt that money had a negative impact on their mental health. People also felt angry about their situation. There were significant stigma around money and mental health. The most common were feeling judged around how you spend money; embarrassment with not being ‘successful,’ able to provide, or seen as a ‘scrounger’; and shame in getting support and losing financial independence.

The report highlights the need for services that help with money issues and mental health to have direct human contact, for example through face to face or on the telephone. Access to practical help and information that is relevant to their financial concerns as well as a welcoming, non-judgemental, safe space to talk about their feelings.

Andrea McCubbin, Chief Executive at Buckinghamshire Mind, said:

Together, Citizens Advice Bucks and Buckinghamshire Mind are committed to finding new solutions and additional support to tackle our community’s money worries and matters which directly impact mental health and wellbeing. This will not be an easy task, but the report’s findings illustrate just how important it is that we work together to provide the support that so many people desperately need.

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