Schuldhulp en herstel

Boksebeld, B.H.H. (2011) Schuldhulp en herstel.

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Abstract:Mental health patients often have to deal with financial problems. They face debts three times as frequently as members of the general population. Debts can be caused by mental health problems, but they can, in turn, also precipitate or perpetuate psychiatric problems. In the Netherlands, relief for people with severe financial problems is in most cases offered by city councils or municipal credit banks. Research has shown that the success rates in debt settlement are poor, with numbers varying from 14 to 31 per cent. Currently, Dutch Parliament is discussing a new bill on debt settlement. In this bill quality standards for debt relief will be laid down. One of them is that psychosocial aspects and causes of indebtedness have to be taken into account when settling debts. At the same time the bill allows city councils to stipulate criteria of their own for admitting citizens to debt settlement procedures. It is expected that some councils will limit the number of times that people can apply for debt settlement to only once. This study investigates the experiences of people with a severe mental illness who have had debt relief and their opinions on how debt relief has affected their recovery process. Elaborating on research on therapy narratives by Adler and McAdams, people with a severe mental illness were interviewed about their experiences with debt relief and asked to fill out the MHRM, a measure for recovery. Transcripts were coded for agency and communion. Using a grounded theory approach, subthemes were generated within these overarching categories. For every respondent, scores for agency and communion and their correlation with recovery were computed. The majority of the narratives feature a positive overall score for agency and a negative one for communion. The statistic analyses show a strong correlation between recovery and agency; in fact so strong it suggests that they are at least partly identical concepts. No correlation was found between recovery and communion. However, for the sequences that specifically dealt with the debt relief process, such a correlation was found to exist. On top of that, a moderate correlation was found between negative communion and recovery. The qualitative analysis of the interviews shows that respondents believe debt settlement has had an important impact on their well-being. Overcoming their debts has bolstered their confidence and self-efficacy. Moreover, knowing that something is being done about their debts takes away a lot of the stress and gives them a sense of control. At the same time, respondents make many critical remarks on how they were treated by debt helpers. The most common remarks include complaints about budget management, constantly changing contact persons who are hard to reach and lack of clear information; all being sources of negative communion. As to the counselling by mental health professionals, there are striking differences. Approaches don’t always meet the needs of the clients. Some professionals support their clients very intensively, with their financial problems as well as with their mental health problems, while others don’t even mention the subject. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed and recommendations for future research as well as for debt settlement with mental health patients are made.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61010
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