Mental Health and Money Advice Service

Mental Health UK

Supporting people with mental health conditions to stay safe and warm at home

 

Our project at a glance

  • Participating GDNs: Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, SGN and Wales & West Utilities
  • Strategic priority area: Supporting priority customer groups
  • Support target: 4,900 households per year
  • Duration: February 2024 to March 2026
  • Investment: £667,652 over two years
  • Forecast SROI: £9.07

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 should experience money issues related to poor mental health or face 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 extended our partnership in Scotland for a further nine months and replicated the service in our Southern network area for the first time. 

We’ve now partnered with Britain’s three other gas networks to embark on an expanded collaborative programme that will see us grow the Mental Health & Money Advice service for the benefit of households across in the UK. In addition to us providing advice to households after a referral from our teams, we’re opening up the service to households who wish to self-refer through a new ‘Money Navigators’ support service. 

Project objectives

  • Providing dedicated mental health, money and energy specialist advice through Mental Health and Money Advice advisers
  • Launching a new ‘Money Navigators’ service for households who want to refer themselves for MHUK support
  • Training and upskilling gas network engineers and Customer Experience colleagues on mental health awareness and support
  • Raising awareness of carbon monoxide safety and the Priority Services Register
  • Introducing a new network of partners to support people with poor mental health through joined-up customer journeys

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 across Britain 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.

The new ‘Money Navigators’ service lets anyone who wants support from the Mental Health & Money Advice Service to refer themselves for support, without needing a referral from one of the gas networks or our partners.

Mental health training for our teams

As part of our original pilot programme, we 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. We’re now planning on rolling out this training to frontline teams at all the gas network companies to equip them with the tools, understanding and knowledge they need to spot the signs of poor mental health when in customers’ homes. 
 

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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 moneynavigators@mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.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.

Rob Harding

Partnerships Manager, Mental Health UK