NHS Health Scotland
Outcome Indicators


5.8 Targeted and universal activities to promote debt management will increase financial capability and financial inclusion across the population and result in increased financial security. Mental health literacy programmes in financial institutions and utilities will increase awareness amongst employers of the link between mental health and financial security and contribute to increased financial capability and financial inclusion amongst users of these services.

Activities to increase access to a secure income will result in short-term outcomes and greater financial security for all.

Financial insecurity is associated with poor mental health outcomes; debt in particular is a risk factor for mental health problems and people with mental health problems are more likely to experience debt.[1, 2, 3] On the basis of epidemiological evidence, primary research and expert opinion Foresight suggested that addressing debt, amongst people with mental health problems and the general population, is likely to have a positive impact on mental health outcomes through increasing financial capability and increasing financial inclusion.[4, 5] Foresight also suggested that financial inclusion may be enhanced through initiatives which increase the knowledge and skills of providers of financial and utility services, thus resulting in more mental health promoting policy and practice amongst these providers.

It is plausible that other strategies to improve equitable access to secure financial resources through welfare policies, minimum wage and employment interventions may also contribute to increasing financial inclusion for all.


  1. Parkinson J (2007). Establishing a core set of national, sustainable mental health indicators for adults in Scotland: Final report. NHS Health Scotland: Glasgow.

  2. Melzer H et al (2006).The social and economic circumstances of adults with mental disorders. The Stationery office: London.

  3. Jenkins R et al (2008). Debt income and mental disorder in the general population. Psychological Medicine, 38 (10): 1485-1493.

  4. Foresight Mental Capital and Wellbeing Project (2008). Final Report. The Government Office for Science, London.

  5. Taylor M, Jenkins S & Sacker A (2009). Financial capability and wellbeing: Evidence from the BHPS. Financial Services Authority: London.