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That's the stark headline that has come out of the Mental Health and Income Commission's latest report, published on 3rd February 2021. It shows that there is a significant ‘mental health income gap’ and calls for systemic action to stop this from growing.
The report outlines that:
The Mental Health and Income Commission is calling for reforms to address these income inequalities. Their recommendations for government and employers include:
MindWise's Mental Health & Money Advice Manager Michele Loughran says sadly she is not surprised by the results of the research and supports the recommendations.
"Our Mental Health & Money Advice Service welcomes the report published by commissioners to raise awareness of the difficulties facing individuals in their work environment and/or those exposed to the benefits system, both areas of hardship for those with poor mental health.
Money and Mental Health has had a long-standing toxic relationship for many people. The report outlines the scale of the problems faced by those on a daily basis and the increase in problems in the current Covid crisis. There is nothing new in this report with the exception of increasing numbers of those in need, and it's time actions were heard.
The recommendations mirror what mental health organisations have been asking for, for a long time. Better understanding from employers, for example training and flexible working hours, and from the government who allow benefits to be paid which are not only difficult to apply and receive but are also inadequate to live off.
We support the changes suggested and the need for equality for all. We look forward to the outcomes of the suggested actions and hope we will at long last see both employed and unemployed people in a better place with adequate finances in place."
Read the full Closing The Gap report here: https://bit.ly/3tvXUL5
If you or someone you care for needs help with money, debt and benefits, call our Mental Health and Money Advice service on freephone 08088010373 and choose Northern Ireland.