Citizens Advice helps thousands of people with mental health problems in the North West.
A new report from Citizens Advice has found non-health related issues, such as debt or housing, are taking up more time during mental health appointments compared to last year.
The number of people in the North West with mental health problems who use Citizens Advice reached over 15,000 last year.
On average, people reporting mental health problems in the North West needed advice with 5.3 issues.
8 in 10 practitioners surveyed by the charity said they had less time to deliver clinical care after being asked to assist with tasks like writing up debt management plans and contacting public service bodies.
Citizens Advice Liverpool currently runs 50 advice clinics in Liverpool health settings every week through the Advice on Prescription project.
The service allows health professionals to focus on treatment, and help people tackle practical problems which can cause or contribute to their poor mental health.
Last year (2017/18), the team helped patients manage £2.7 million of debt, and maximised patient income to the value of £6.7 million.
Heather Brent, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Liverpool said:
“Practical problems, like debt, can often be more difficult to manage if you also have mental health problems.
This new research shows it’s too often mental health professionals who are spending appointment time helping patients with wider problems. We are here to provide practical support for people with mental health problems in our community.”
For further information about the service, please contact Health Programme Manager, Debbie Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org