Mental Health UK
Supporting people with mental health conditions to stay safe and warm at home
Our project at a glance
- Priority need group: People with mental health conditions
- Strategic priority area: Supporting priority vulnerability groups
- Support target: 190 households over 15 months
- Duration: March 2022 to June 2023
- Investment: £72,816 over 15 months
- Forecast SROI: £3.20
Thank you I couldn't do any of this without your support. I've been so anxious about the rising costs of living. I can rest easier knowing I am getting the support I need.
Mental Health UK client
Why we’re working together
Before the pandemic, it was estimated that one in four people in the UK experienced a mental health condition every year. In Scotland, that figure was one in three.
Since the pandemic, and now with the cost-of-living crisis, this situation has only worsened.
Adults living in most deprived areas are twice as likely to struggle with their mental health as those in the least deprived, a causal link from experiencing stressful situations such as poor housing, unemployment, poverty and childhood adversity.
People with mental health issues also find it harder to stay safe and warm at home, with Money and Mental Health Institute research identifying energy bills as one of the most common payments people with mental health problems struggle to meet.
Mental Health UK shares our vision that no one experiencing money issues related to poor mental health or faces an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning because of mental health problems.
In March 2022, we launched an initial six-month pilot with Mental Health UK to trial a dedicated referral pathway for our engineers to refer vulnerable households in Scotland to the charity’s Mental Health & Money Advice Service.
Following the pilot’s success, we’ve extended our partnership in Scotland for a further nine months and replicated the service in our Southern network area for the first time.
We’re also leading the creation of an expanded collaborative programme with the other gas networks to benefit customers across the rest of England and Wales, due to go live in 2023/24.
- Providing dedicated mental health, money and energy specialist advice through two Mental Health and Money Advice advisers
- Raising awareness of carbon monoxide safety and the Priority Services Register
- Assessing the impact of working as part of a network of partners to support people with poor mental health
How we’re working together
One-to-one energy safeguarding and financial advice
We’ve established a dedicated referral pathway for our engineers and partner organisations to refer vulnerable households in Scotland and the south of England to the charity’s Mental Health & Money Advice Service. This service provides holistic energy safeguarding and financial advice to customers living with poor mental health, including raising awareness of carbon monoxide safety and the Priority Services Register.
Training and advocacy
Together, we’ve co-designed bespoke mental health awareness training for our Customer Experience advisers and operational teams. The e-learning packages guide our colleagues on ways to identify and support customers struggling with poor mental health. By training our teams, our partnership is not only benefitting our customers but it’s also enabling us to raise awareness of mental health among our employees and combat stigma.
How to get involved
Accessing support from the Mental Health & Money Advice Service
Our VCMA programme partners can refer clients to the Mental Health & Money Service through the secure referral portal or by emailing a referral form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re experiencing issues with mental health and money, you can access the service directly through the Mental Health & Money Advice website.
Becoming a Mental Health UK partner
We’re keen to connect more of our VCMA partners with Mental Health UK to help address gaps in mental health resources or expertise in your organisations. If you would like to find out more about working with Mental Health UK, please contact Laura.Peters@mentalhealth-uk.org.
Working in partnership with SGN has been a real pleasure. The journey from project inception to delivery has been creative, well informed and extremely well-managed. Flexibility and innovation have been key to this smooth partnership and have been evident throughout.