THE government’s Economic Secretary John Glen visited a Solihull charity to find out about the support on offer to those in debt.
The MP met with staff at Rethink and spoke about how the administration’s Breathing Space scheme has helped people as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs until May 15.
The scheme provides those in problem debt with legal protection from creditor action while they seek debt advice, including through measures such as freezing interest payments and creditor enforcement, for up to 60 days.
Since it began, more than 900 people have also sought help from Mental Health Crisis Breathing Spaces, which extends the protections while they receive mental health crisis treatment.
Mr Glen said: “Mental health is a challenge for us all – but these concerns can be exacerbated for people who are experiencing a mental health crisis and are in problem debt.
“That’s why I launched the Breathing Space scheme one year ago and will shortly be consulting on proposals for a statutory debt repayment plan – to give people the confidence, support and clarity they need to tackle problem debts.
“The work Rethink Mental Illness are doing to support their clients is transforming lives.
“So I would urge anyone struggling with their mental health and in need of financial advice, to reach out to their nearest debt advice provider for support.”
Mr Glen urged others in problem debt to seek advice from a mental health professional, debt advice provider, or using the tools offered by the Money and Pensions Service.
The minister also thanked staff at Rethink for providing dedicated support to members of the local community suffering with mental health issues and problem debt.