'Mental Health and Debt: New guide to come' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's 'Mental Health and Debt: New guide to come' blog. Please read the blog first, and then click reply to discuss.
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  • dmg24
    dmg24 Posts: 33,925 Forumite
    I once broached a TV programme on it but the reply from all the execs I spoke to was “It’d only be interesting to those with problems; most people will switch off”.

    Crazy. They will quite happily broadcast a programme on Michael Barrymore and the Stuart Lovell (sp?) case, which surely interests very few (if anyone), yet they will not cover a subject which applies to 25% of the population (plus family, friends, MH professionals etc).
    Gone ... or have I?
  • Fran
    Fran Posts: 11,286
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    A difficult one, in that if people's mental health problems involve depression then they are unlikely to have the mental energy to read such a guide when they actually need it..... but how would you catch those with "potential" depression or in between depressive episodes? (Label it Barrymore or Osbourne or something?!) :confused:
    Torgwen.......... :) ...........
  • dmg24
    dmg24 Posts: 33,925 Forumite
    Fran wrote: »
    A difficult one, in that if people's mental health problems involve depression then they are unlikely to have the mental energy to read such a guide when they actually need it..... but how would you catch those with "potential" depression or in between depressive episodes? (Label it Barrymore or Osbourne or something?!) :confused:

    Very true. But then that seems to me the problem with the whole mental health system, how to catch people who either are ill or are at risk of becoming ill.

    I am just coming out of a depressive episode (starting to feel vaguely human again!), that lasted around six months. Despite presenting myself at the doctors with endless minor ailments, I did not have the nerve to say 'I am ill again', and despite years of MH illness all over my records, the doctor never asked.

    The only financial advice I had over the period was people reminding me that I needed to snap out of it so I could pay some bills. :rolleyes:
    Gone ... or have I?
  • Fran
    Fran Posts: 11,286
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    dmg24 wrote: »
    Very true. But then that seems to me the problem with the whole mental health system, how to catch people who either are ill or are at risk of becoming ill.
    I am convinced, though by its nature it's unprovable, that there are hundreds of people who live on their own completely isolated with mental health problems. They aren't in the frame of mind to get help and how could you possibly get help to them, it seems like a catch 22 thing to me. I suppose websites and TV, but then would you have taken any notice/taken it in when having a depressive episode?
    Torgwen.......... :) ...........
  • whitty999
    whitty999 Posts: 4,024 Forumite
    I really urgently need to discuss this but not just right now............I will soon
    Please Martin fight hard for this i know..........
    Im not up to it yet but i do need to post here soon about how this is affecting me deeply
    Lucky No27
    .D.E.F..H..J.K.L.M.N.O.P.Q.R..U..X.Y.Z
    V,T,B,S,A,C,I,G,W
  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,273
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    Hi folks,

    Some interesting points above - let me address them briefly.

    Who's the guide for?

    I've amended the blog slightly as I forgot to include that it's also for families and carers of the person with health issues.
    Yet even without that, there are many levels of mental health and capacity issues. Of course for someone without the requisite capacity the guide is irrelevant.

    Yet for those with mental health issues; it can be used both in better periods to plan and protect during worse times; and even in worse periods to provide a framework of action - something often useful when people are suffering depression.

    Ultimately it's something I'm passionate about - and even if only a few people are actually in a position to gain from it - jobs a good'un (and don't worry I know the above wasn't criticism :) )

    Martin
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • Iguana
    Iguana Posts: 1,779
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    How do you encourage the families and carers to access this kind of service when they are bogged down with caring for somone which can occupy their whole life?

    I would add this is not a critism! but I do feel it is a valid point!
  • newleaf
    newleaf Posts: 3,132
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    I'd like to point out that depression is not the only issue. People with Bipolar Disorder who become elated in mood can get into terrific problems spending massive amounts of money which they can't hope to pay back. Unfortunately, when elated, people can become grandiose and convinced they are very rich, or that they have a foolproof method of making a fortune. Sadly, much damage is already done by the time the person is ready to accept treatment - or worse still, has become such a risk that they are detained in hospital under the mental health act. As a psychiatric nurse, I have seen this many times. Often the responsible medical officer can help by writing a letter to creditors to explain the situation, and debt can sometimes be written off but obviously this affects the credit record and requires the patient to consent and to request this intervention. Then, the flip side of Bipolar Disorder is depression - often made all the more painful by rash spending whilst elated. The feelings of guilt and shame are often exaggerated, unbearable and can lead to suicidal behaviour.
    A very interesting topic Martin, and one I feel is worthy of public debate. Good luck with it.
    Official DFW Nerd No 096 - Proud to have dealt with my debt!
  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,273
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    Hi newleaf. Of course depression isn't the only issue; that was an aside. We will try and address all mental health issues including the big ones - bipolar, depression, anxiety, addiction issues and more.

    I've got some of the UK's leading experts on mental health practical issues working to write this; I'll be helping myself.

    On to the question, "How do you encourage the families and carers to access this kind of service when they are bogged down with caring for somone which can occupy their whole life?"

    This is a guide - for people who want help to read and use to make their life easier. It isn't imposed on anyone.

    This is a massive issue that needs addressing; sadly I'm not Gordon Brown, I have limited resources on an issue I feel passionate about - this is a start. And we need to work towards it.

    The number of mental health professional carers who tell me they use the site to help their clients who are in terrible debt is huge; I want to target them as well.

    We need to work together on this.

    Martin
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230
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    Martin, I'm very pleased to see that you will be collaborating with MIND.

    The guide you propose would be of immense help to those who work with people with mental health problems. I refer to them as problems rather than issues because a problem is something that people don't want/struggle with and the word issue is used by many people but seems too unspecific.

    Those who work in mental health can have debt problems themselves that they find difficult to cope with, a guide for those they work with would contain information that the workers themselves are not aware of - after all their primary focus is on health not finances. Many workers now understand the importance of all their clients/patients life domains and finances is one of them, but as I said, they themselves may not be financially savvy.

    There is some difficulty in getting the product to the customer, but if the guide was made available where MIND leaflets can be found - surgeries, CAB's, mental health voluntary organisations, mental health websites, then it would have quite a broad reach.
    Ultimately it's something I'm passionate about - and even if only a few people are actually in a position to gain from it - jobs a good'un

    It certainly is a good 'un and wonderful news, and on the back of it I'm going to ask you to consider something.

    MSE members are given handles according to how many posts they make such as BONKERS MAD and MANIAC. I have always been deeply offended by
    this. It stigmatises and caricatures those with mental health problems, something that is unacceptable even in the name of satire. Guidance to the inappropriate use of these words is contained in current journalist standards (sorry - can't remember the correct name).

    I'm now on my second username - I changed it when my MSE awarded handle changed and labelled me as something I'm not. I shall change it again should I ever reach the same giddy heights of numerous posts.

    Martin - could I ask you to consider how your guide to mental health and debt, which I'm pretty sure won't contain the words I've written about above, can sit easily alongside your site which uses the words in an unfelling and cavalier way.

    BTW - best wishes and good luck with the guide, it's sorely needed. If you pull it off I will personally nominate you for a Mental Health Media award !
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
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