Welfare advice for people who use mental health services

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Developing the business case

Michael Parsonage with a foreword by Martin Lewis

3 December 2013

This research highlights the link between poor mental health and a frequent experience of welfare problems such as unmanageable debt and difficulties with housing and benefits and finds that specialist welfare advice is likely to save mental health services money by improving people’s health and reducing hospital admissions. The report looks at Sheffield Mental Health Citizens Advice Bureau (SMHCAB), which offers a real world example of how specialist welfare advice can cut the cost of mental health care.

The report calls for every mental health service to secure specialist welfare advice to help to support recovery and to intervene early when difficulties emerge. Health and social care commissioners should ensure that their plans include welfare advice provision. And the government should consider including welfare advice in its outcomes frameworks for the NHS, social care and public health.

Audience: mental health services, commissioners, policy makers.

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