Money and Mental Health Foundation research: The Equality Act, essential services and people with mental health problems

This report examines the legal duties that essential services firms — such as banks, energy companies and water providers — have towards customers with mental health problems, under the Equality Act.

It reveals many essential services providers are likely to be failing to meet legal duties set out in the Equality Act 2010, which requires them to anticipate and address the needs of customers with mental health problems.

Findings show that: 

  • only three in ten (29%) people with mental health problems say that essential service providers usually anticipate and meet their needs, as required under the Equality Act,
  • less than a third of people (32%) with mental health problems say they have been asked by most of their essential services providers if they have any needs that would affect their ability to use services, 
  • around one in three people with mental health problems said they were not offered any reasonable adjustments even after telling an essential services firm that they had a mental health condition, as required for those protected under the Equality Act.

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