A mental health crisis could affect any one of us, at any time. But life doesn’t stop during these periods of intense distress or altered reality. Bills and rent must still be paid; charges and fees stack up when payments are missed. People often continue to have access to credit, and may need to make serious decisions around savings and pensions.
This report from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute concentrates on people requiring care in hospital as an inpatient or from a crisis team in the community. Although focusing on those having received support excludes many people who are in crisis, this approach allows us to explore the opportunities within the treatment pathway to better support service users. In turn, this should help to improve patient flow, reduce readmissions and repeat crises and free up service capacity, allowing more people to receive the help they need.
The report suggests that mental health services lack suitable tools, particularly for those who retain capacity when they are seriously unwell and that essential services firms’ lack of understanding of mental health crisis and their concerns about risk management, particularly around data protection, mean they appear unsympathetic. In addition, the benefits system’s continually fails to make reasonable adjustments for claimants experiencing mental health crises that can leave people in abject poverty and acute distress.