Tuesday 20 March 2018

mental healthThe number of people in the South West with mental health problems who use Citizens Advice reached over 10,000 last year. 

On average, people reporting mental health problems in the South West needed advice with 5 issues.

A new survey from Citizens Advice has found mental health practitioners are spending more time on non-health related issues, such as debt or housing, during appointments compared to last year.

8 in 10 practitioners surveyed by the charity said they had less time to deliver clinical care after being asked to assist with tasks like writing up debt management plans and contacting public service bodies.

A number of Citizens Advice run advice sessions in GP surgeries and hospitals to allow health professionals to focus on treatment, and help people tackle practical problems which can cause or contribute to their poor mental health.

In 2017, Wiltshire Citizens Advice helped more than 1,200 people who reported having a mental health problem. They sought advice on a wide range of issues - from debt to housing. 

Suzanne Wigmore, Chief Executive Officer of Wiltshire Citizens Advice, said:

“Practical problems, like debt, can often be more difficult to manage if you also have mental health problems.

“This new research shows it’s too often mental health professionals who are spending appointment time helping patients with wider problems. It is vital that people with mental health problems have access to appropriate practical support in their community.”

For information and advice, contact Wiltshire Citizens Advice on 03444 111 444 or drop-in to your local Citizens Advice office. 


  1. Citizens Advice conducted an online survey of 244 mental health practitioners from Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services from 10/01/2018 to 06/02/2018. Citizens Advice directly contacted IAPT providers across England to distribute the survey. The providers then shared it directly with practitioners via email and on social media. Citizens Advice also worked with Association of Mental Health Providers, Royal College of Psychiatrists, and The British Psychological Society to design and distribute the survey.