A new service set up to help businesses support customers facing mental and emotional health issues is calling on banks to ‘invest in people gripped by money and financial anxieties’ as a result of COVID-19.
Holler It, the organisation set up to provide customer-focused mental health and wellbeing packages to businesses, says more needs to be done by banks to support people with increased worries surrounding finances and job security.
The call comes after the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) stated that the economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic “will have significant consequences for people’s mental health outcomes in the short and longer term. The World Health Organisation has also warned of an “upsurge in the number and severity of mental illness in the aftermath of the global lockdown”.
Concerned by the growing number of people struggling with emotional and mental health issues and the lack of access to professional support, Lily Gupta launched Holler It.
By working with businesses and organisations who are seeking to step up their commitment to individuals who might be struggling or have experienced additional stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic – Holler It provides health and wellbeing packages that can be rolled out to customers, savers, members and employees in an easy, cost effective way.
“Banks and our big financial institutions have a duty to do more to support customers who are worried about their finances. Holler It is hearing from people who are having sleepless nights about keeping up with loan and mortgage repayments, and from those who are terrified about losing their jobs. The impact on people’s mental health is staggering.
“Nearly everyone has a bank account or an insurance policy – that puts these organisations in a unique position to help and support the UK public. In addition to the free newspapers or coffee perks, they could give access to a dedicated service that listens, supports and provides information to their customers who might be feeling stressed, scared and anxious. This would make a real difference to the well-being of their customers and our communities.
“It is time for banks to invest in people gripped by money and financial anxieties as a result of COVID-19. This is a serious issue,” says Holler It founder, Lily Gupta.
Holler It provides free mental health and well-being advice during the COVID-19 pandemic and is a unique and confidential service which provides immediate 24-hour telephone and online provision for people struggling to cope with stress and anxiety. Expert signposting and support on a whole range of issues including debt, finances, relationships, legal and family matters are covered.
Lily Gupta added:
“The UK has spent months at a stand-still but banks can’t stand still any longer whilst their customers, many of whom pay high interest on mortgage and loan repayments and banking fees, are feeling overwhelming pressure.
“We all have a bank account and those accounts should come with the provisions to support us. No one knows when they are going to need mental health support but everyone should have the option for that support and that support to be free.
“Mental health and wellbeing provisions need to be made available by all banks for anyone with a bank account.”
Holler It is backed by TV presenter Denise Welch who has spoken out about her battles with mental health during the COVID-19 crisis.