The teams at ClearDebt recently took part in a mental health training seminar presented by MIND.
Did you know that when out for dinner in a party of four, it’s highly likely one of you will have a mental health condition.
Recent stats from Royal College of Psychiatry tell us:
- One in four people has a mental health problem
- One in four people with a mental health problem is also in debt
- Debt may be a cause and consequence of mental health problems
- One in two adults with debts has a mental health problem
Since working at ClearDebt some three and a half years, I have quickly come to understand the emotional issues connected to money worries; I have witnessed client testimonials sent to us talking about the relief felt when we have been able to help make a difference to someone’s debt and their path to repaying it.
Mental capacity issues and the debt industry
Identifying mental capacity is a key issue for the debt solution industry and for the Office of Fair Trading who recently published their “Mental Health – OFT Guidance for Creditors” paper. The connection between Mental Health and debt has quickly established itself as a matter to be taken seriously and for those talking to people in debt it’s often been a “taboo” subject.
Debt Resolution Forum training on mental health and debt
I and other members of ClearDebt staff attended a pilot training scheme provided by Debt Resolution Forum (DRF) and presented by MIND. The aim of the training was to help us bto be more aware of the mental health conditions people can suffer from and how to communicate best with people in these circumstances to make sure they feel comfortable with the conversations they may be having with us. The training also helped us understand the importance of being able to confirm the caller we are speaking to has the mental capacity to understand the information being discussed and the implications of any solution we explain.
In today’s society, when debt, mental health and well- being are so interlinked, providing the correct debt advice can no longer be enough. It’s vital we’re now also able to connect to the people we’re talking to and to pick up on any other “stresses” in their life which may affect their understanding of what we are saying and to do something with the advice we provide. The way in which we communicate with clients suffering from mental health conditions should be flexible so that processes can be adapted to fit in with their needs.
What I learnt from the training
The mental health training was truly inspirational – a wake up call for those of us who either haven’t yet known someone with a mental health condition or do know someone with a mental health condition but have never taken the time to truly ask or appreciate the affect this may have on them and their life. We understand, as professionals in this industry, the heartbreak and strain money worries can bring to someone – and to their family; I hope the training by DRF is just the beginning of an industry wide change which means that debt advisors have the ability to provide for people with mental health conditions as equally as we would anyone else.