Mental Health UK

Laura and Paul’s story

Laura helped her brother Paul several years ago when he was spending time in hospital because of his diagnosis of his mental illness. As a result of his illness, he was also having money problems at the time.

“Paul had issues in the past that made it difficult for him to get credit, but while he was unwell two years ago, he successfully applied for a credit card with extortionate rates. He managed to pay the minimum payment for a while, paid some more off with a loan and then asked me to help him. He sent the card to me for emergencies, and I set up a direct debit to pay the minimum. This seemed the best thing to do, but I think this improved his credit rating...

...This time when Paul got unwell, his finances have been a nightmare. In the month running up to his admission, he applied and was approved for loans, credit cards and store cards. However he was sectioned before he got hold of any of them...

...As soon as we gave him the bank card, he gave it to someone who has been taking his benefits out and spending them on herself, leaving Paul with nothing. In Paul’s view, he is helping this friend. In the meantime he calls us all demanding money. It has been really hard, and we are never sure what to do...

"I know Paul wouldn’t be giving all his money away or getting into all this debt if he was well. I am honestly worried about the position he will have to face when he is well if I don’t try to protect him from this behaviour.”

One in four people with a mental illness also has debts, and half of adults with debts also have a mental illness. Please support our work and help us do more for people like Laura and Paul