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Joining the dots: integrating practical support in mental healthcare settings in England

Author(s)

ISAKSEN Mette, WILLIAMS Richard

Publisher(s):

Citizens Advice

Publication year:

2017

This report provides an analysis of the advice needs of Citizens Advice clients in England who report having a mental health problem. It shows how recognising the links between people’s mental health and their wider practical problems is crucial both for preventing mental health problems from escalating and improving recovery rates. The report draws on the results of an analysis of client data, a survey of Citizens Advice advisors and a survey of 2,000 people across England. The analysis shows that a growing number of people who turn to Citizens Advice for advice report having mental health problems. In addition, clients with mental health problems tend to have more complex, urgent and multiple advice needs. The report uses Citizen Advice data to explore the advice needs of people with mental health problems across the areas of: finance, essential services, housing, employment, and benefits. It also provides evidence to show that the provision of practical advice and support alongside mental health services can improve patient wellbeing and outcomes and reduce demand on public services. Despite this, the research found that less than a third of people (32 per cent) nationally who access NHS services are referred to advice services, while twice as many (64 per cent) said this would be helpful. The report recommends that service providers should take action to ensure they are responding effectively to the needs of people with mental health problems and calls for government to fund a pilot for integrated practical support in primary mental healthcare settings. (Edited publisher abstract)


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