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by | Friday, June 18th, 2021 | News

People in Plymouth receiving treatment for a mental health crisis can now benefit from a new initiative designed to give people breathing space from difficulties with debt.

Financial issues can take a toll on our mental health, and it is also recognised that people receiving mental health crisis treatment can often have difficulties with managing debt.

Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space is a national initiative that acknowledges this and puts people experiencing a crisis into contact with a debt advisor who will ensure that contact from debtors and the charging of fees and interest or any actions that may be taken such as repossessions or evictions are halted during the period of mental health crisis treatment plus 30 days.  

Referrals to this scheme require an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) to certify that a person is receiving mental health crisis treatment. In Plymouth, this means that referrals are sent to Livewell Southwest’s AMHP Team. 

Gareth Benjamin, AMHP Team Manager, said: “Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space launched nationally on 4 May, and our team is now ready for referrals.

“We know that if you’re receiving mental health crisis treatment you’re probably not in the best place to be managing debt. Anyone receiving crisis treatment who is experiencing debt issues, or their friends and families who are concerned about them, can raise this with their mental health team who can make a referral to the AMHP team.”

Gareth continued: “Once this has been checked by one of our Approved Mental Health Professionals, the referral will be allocated to a debt advisor. We provide the named point of contact as identified by the referrer, so the debt advisor will then get in contact with them to take things forward.

“There are lots of different types of support outside of this scheme that you can access in Plymouth so we at Livewell need to be mindful of the issues of debt and looking to link people with whoever is going to be the most appropriate for them”.

“We hope that as people become aware of this service, more people will be open to speaking to their mental health professionals around issues of debt so that we can make sure they are supported to reduce the debt or find ways to manage that causes them less stress.”


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