People with mental health problems failed by companies

LLB Reporter

Source: Photoshot

Citizens Advice finds

Citizens Advice research reveals limited, inconsistent and patchy support for people with mental health problems. Energy and telecoms were rated the worst sectors for customer service and additional support, while water companies were seen most favourably.

The number of people with mental health problems seeking advice from Citizens Advice on utilities and communications issues has soared, at double the pace of people overall.

Citizens Advice found:

Citizens Advice is calling for minimum standards to be set for mental health support across all essential service providers. The government recently published its green paper “Modernising consumer markets” in which it called for standards to be introduced.

Citizens Advice says people with mental health problems should be able to expect:

Citizens Advice is also calling for companies across different markets to develop ways of safely recording information about vulnerable customers’ needs in order to provide better support.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice said:

“If you’re suffering with a mental health problem, dealing with everyday concerns like your energy bill or broadband signal may be particularly difficult.

“Companies need to help their customers with mental health problems rather than adding to their struggles.

“We found that support to manage essential services is either non-existent, hard to find or sub-standard, varying widely between sectors and companies. People with mental health problems deserve the same levels of extra care as any other vulnerable group, like the physically disabled or the elderly.

“Stronger standards would make sure they have access to sympathetic customer support and don’t have their mobile or energy suddenly cut off because of a missed payment.”

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