Podcast ep 08: Tackling mental health issues in financial services

On World Mental Health Day 2019, Merlyn Holkar from Money and Mental Health talks to Shaun Weston about challenges in financial services. What are the common impediments to vulnerable people managing their finances, and how might technology help?

Tackling mental health issues in financial services

Welcome to episode eight of The Shape of Money, a podcast by ieDigital. October the 10th is World Mental Health Day. In today’s show, Merlyn Holkar from Money and Mental Health joins me to discuss many of the challenges around this topic and how they relate to managing our finances.

Merlyn is senior research officer at nonprofit Money and Mental Health, which is described as a policy institute, and was set up in 2016. It’s backed by Martin Lewis, who many listeners will recognise as Money Saving Expert.



The Shape of Money, episode 08 show notes

00:35 Our conversation begins.

01:16 An introduction to Money and Mental Health, a research charity backed by Martin Lewis. We discuss startling statistics about the link between mental health issues and managing your finances.

02:49 People on lower incomes are more often affected by mental health issues. The ways mental health problems can affect our finances and financial prospects are quite varied.

04:49 Merlyn Holkar says one way to tackle mental health problems from customer-centric point of view is to adopt a universal design approach.

05:50 The stigma associated with mental health often prevents people asking for help.

06:44 How do we help people better manage their finances when we recognise symptoms?

07:30 Are financial services companies doing enough to help?

09:31 We discuss Monzo and its ‘gambling block’ – a feature designed to add friction to the process of funding a gambling habit.

11:39 What role do we think technology will play in tackling the issue of mental health?

12:14 We discuss how much we think a self-serve approach will work, whereby vulnerable customers in debt to their energy company, for instance, are encouraged to engage with their debt and manage it themselves through an app or browser.

Produced by Shaun Weston. Listen free on Apple Podcasts

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