The number of people in the East Midlands with mental health problems who used Citizens Advice reached more than 7,500 last year.
On average, people reporting mental health problems in the East Midlands needed advice with almost six 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. Eight in ten 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 branches 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.
Stuart Hellon, Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Advice Mid Lincolnshire, 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.
“We would urge anyone who needs help to contact Citizens Advice on 03444 111 444, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, look at www.citizensadvice.org.uk or visit our offices in Boston, Sleaford or North Hykeham.” (Times available via the website).