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Report from a Financial Education and Asset Development Program for People With Psychiatric Disabilities Jane K. Burke-Miller, Ph.D. Evaluation Director.

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Presentation on theme: "Report from a Financial Education and Asset Development Program for People With Psychiatric Disabilities Jane K. Burke-Miller, Ph.D. Evaluation Director."— Presentation transcript:

1 Report from a Financial Education and Asset Development Program for People With Psychiatric Disabilities Jane K. Burke-Miller, Ph.D. Evaluation Director Center on Mental Health Services Research & Policy REI Tour Mayors’ Leadership Academy 11/3/2010

2 University of Illinois Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy Center Director: Judith A. Cook, Ph.D. Center Managing Director: Jessica A. Jonikas, M.A. Federal funders: –U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) –Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services (SAMHSA/CMHS)

3 The goal: Self Determination “…self determination is achieved when people have maximal independence and educational opportunities to make meaningful decisions about their own lives, control their own money, and live and work where they choose…” (Authors: Self-Determination Knowledge Development Workgroup of the National Research & Training Center on Psychiatric Disability, 2002)

4 Mental Health Recovery “…a deeply personal, unique process of changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and/or roles. It is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life even with limitations caused by the illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness." (W. Anthony) Hope, treatment, empowerment, support, education/knowledge, self-help spirituality, employment/meaningful activity.

5 Poverty Acts as a Barrier to Recovery  Debt burden, financial victimization  Instability in housing, food, and other daily needs  Employment instability; disability disincentives  No economic safety net or financial security  Unmet need for money management skills

6 We need to identify routes to economic security for people in mental health recovery

7 Economic security includes… Employment Benefits Career Development Financial Education Asset Accumulation

8 Financial Planning Needs of People with Psychiatric Disabilities Research funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE®), a Denver-based, nonprofit foundation focused on helping individuals control their financial lives Conducted focus groups & interviews with consumers, advocates & providers

9 Interview/Focus Group Highlights N=25 in-depth telephone interviews conducted with respondents from : California, Denver, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, & Oregon. N=19 participants in 3 focus groups in and around Chicago 58% male, 53% white, 26% African American, 16% Hispanic/Latino, 4% Asian American, 4% Native American, ages 19-64, average age 40. Interviews and focus groups transcribed and analyzed using grounded theory in qualitative analysis.

10 From Georgia… “I just sat down the other day and wrote out checks with which to pay my bills and find out I’ve already spent my money before I even have it. There was no fat to trim, nothing to budget.” “The solution seems to lie beyond individual financial planning. You cannot plan with something you do not have. And often, your best laid plans aren’t as much of a sure thing as you thought… To be honest, I find it hard to imagine financial security, because I haven’t had it.”

11 From Oregon… “Having [a disability] means never having to say I’m solvent!” “Voc rehab is a joke that cost me time, money, and an excess of frustration.” “I live like a starving artist, in a mobile home behind my parents’ place. Even though I’m over-educated and over 50!” “I just want to see if anybody out there is listening.”

12 From Downstate Illinois… Diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, growing up with a mother who also had a bi-polar diagnosis, she describes her early years as being “very, very poor.” “People don’t realize that one of the biggest reasons that people commit suicide is over financial issues. They feel that they are financially trapped, that there is no way out. We have an obligation to help people see that there is a way out of that box.”

13 From Chicago… “During the beginning, before I had a payee, I was managing my money well, paying things on time. Then I started buying too much food and didn’t have enough left over to clothe my children. I had 8 children, they were taken away from me due to my mental state. I’ve been on SSI since 1986 and have had a payee since 1995.” “Without a payee I am not sure where I would be…But my payee isn’t always responsible when it comes to paying my bills on time, she also doesn’t give me enough weekly spending money, so therefore it is impossible to try to budget with so little money.”

14 Categories of Financial Planning Needs Basic Needs –“As far as planning for any kind of future, there isn’t enough [money]. The money that’s left over after those things [bills], has to go toward food, medications, and transportation costs.” Skills Training –Reading and math skills, navigating the benefits/entitlements systems, adhering to a budget “Normalizing” –Desire to plan for education, homes, careers, families, vacations, retirement

15 Emotional Control & Support A great need was expressed for learning how to handle the emotional issues associated with lack of money. –As one individual explained, “People need to learn two things: first, how to set up a budget; and second, how to cope with the stress of not having enough money.” And to have emotional support at times of financial strain, professional as well as personal. –“Case managers should be aware of the need to be real vigilant with clients who are having financial struggles, even when they say they are doing fine.” Yet, many reported embarrassment going to peers or providers with financial problems.

16 People with Psychiatric Disabilities Can Be Experts at Money Management Strategies reported include: comparison shopping, purchasing generics, shopping at thrift, discount, outlet stores, clipping coupons, stocking up on staples, using public transportation, food banks, shared resources, discovering free or low-cost services, self-denial, barter, envelope budgeting, calendars, savings accounts, and money jars. Those who had taken financial planning or budgeting classes reported that these were useful, but not nearly accessible enough, and hard to keep up effort alone.

17 Study Findings: Financial Planning Needs Lack of basic education skills & financial literacy Poor reading & math skills, problems navigating the benefits/entitlements systems or adhering to a budget Having to focus on basic needs limits the ability to plan “The money that’s left over after [bills] has to go toward food, medications, and transportation costs.” Need to learn how to handle the emotional issues associated with lack of money. “…one of the biggest reasons that people commit suicide is over financial issues.” Need for emotional support. “Case managers should be…vigilant with clients having financial struggles, even when they say they’re doing fine.”

18 Recommendations Financial planning resources (whether a self-guide or class) should be based on an individual planning model targeting consumers and “someone who cares” (e.g., family member, peer, service provider). Resource should be useable either for gaining or refreshing knowledge, or as a practical planning tool. Should include both short-term money management strategies and long-term financial planning goals. Recovery and self-determination (not mental illness) should be emphasized throughout. Should include success stories and examples, promote feasible goals that normalize self-determination Sections on benefits/entitlements, avoiding fraud and theft, and emotional stress.

19 Strategies for Future Directions Develop best-practices in financial planning for mental health consumers Promote wider understanding of role of financial security in Recovery, Self-Determination Incorporate financial education competencies in Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Peer Support Certifications Finances are obviously a critical issue to the lives and independence of people with psychiatric disabilities.

20 UIC Financial Education Curriculum* Six sessions involving small group interaction, humor, & expenditure tracking –Values, needs vs wants; financial goals; tracking income & expenses –Fixed vs. flexible expenses; envelope budgeting; how to start & maintain a savings plan; track expenses –How to increase income/decrease spending; track expenses –Understanding credit; credit report/score; managing credit/debt problems; track expenses –Using financial institutions; consumer rights; track expenses

21 *Adapted from UI Extension Curricula “All My Money” and “Your Money and Your Life” Condensed Streamlined Focus on individuals Instructor flexibility Network/interact with MH resources

22 Controlling Spending During a Manic or Depressive Episode When you recognize an episode, go into “damage control mode”  Decide on a weekly spending limit  Withdraw only that amount of money for the week  Give your credit cards & checkbook to a trusted friend  Put your finances under someone else’s control who knows you & your illness  Avoid situations that encourage impulse spending (shopping malls, websites, etc.)

23 Financial Education: Lessons Learned Financial education should be based on an individual planning model Teach short-term money management strategies & long-term financial goals. Recovery & self-determination (not mental illness) should be emphasized On-going support needed until self-efficacy is developed Need for supportive group activities & strategies for handling emotional stress related to finances and maintain motivation

24 Financial Education Outcomes Pre-post tests Individual Development Accounts

25 UIC CMHSRP Financial Education November-December 2009 Class N=10 Mean age = 41 years 70% female 80% non-white 60% had some college, 40% college degree 30% income < $10,000/year 30% income $10,000-24,999/year 40% income $25,000-39,999/year 30% receiving SSDI 60% employed full-time 30% employed part-time

26 Pre-post test results Mean responses increased on 19 out of 22 closed-ended items. Statistically significant increases (p<.10 by 2-tailed significance on paired-t-test) were observed on: How often do I... (none of the time, some of the time, all of the time) –Write down my financial goals. –Write out a spending plan that includes savings for goals and emergencies. –Use coupons. –Keep track of my spending. On a scale from 1=not comfortable to 5=very comfortable... –What is your comfort level with your knowledge of financial terms and concepts? –What is your comfort level with applying your knowledge into behavior?

27 Question: Have you made any changes in the way you handle money because of this course? “Yes. I am so aware no in the moment of what I am buying or what I am choosing not to buy. I use to go on sprees, now I am choosing not to waste money or overspend. I make mistakes sometimes but now I track expenses all the time and choose not to buy. I am also more aware of credit card debt.” “Yes, this course was a mirror and I’ve now begun to pay more attention to my spending.” “Have made a chart and also made a budget using my target goals.” “Yes, I think more and make judgments.” “Yes. I am saving in an envelope for vacation. And earned money by selling two things I don’t use.” “Yes, I am now more motivated to address my debt and I’m working on agreements to pay off debt and I have a better understanding of my financial situation.”

28 Question: What part(s) of the course was most helpful to you? (in order) 1. Tracking Expenses 2. Identifying financial goals 3. Building consumer skills 4. Managing debt 5. Using financial institutions

29 Satisfaction with class 100% rated the course instructors, materials, and overall program as “very helpful” (as opposed to not helpful or somewhat helpful). And all said they would recommend the program to others.

30 CMHSRP Project: Asset Accumulation Through Individual Development Accounts  UIC, Thresholds, Asset Builders, Rebecca Susan Buffett Foundation  Recruited 5 participants from Thresholds  All completed 12 hours financial education training, worked individually on credit repair and specific asset training, made monthly savings goals  Saved $25-$100 each month  2:1 match

31 CMHSRP IDA Outcomes

32 IDA Programs: Lessons Learned Participants benefit from on-going access to MH/Voc services Home-ownership is challenging goal given high housing prices, and income needed to sustain a mortgage Non-IDA related benefits and unemployment can jeopardize IDA asset realization Psychosocial rehabilitation, asset development, and financial institution partnerships are key to success Financial education and credit repair are significant additional benefits

33 Economic Security: The Bottom Line Financial security is essential to well-being. Financial education & on-going support are a matter of effort, not expenditure. People can save! Asset accumulation works!

34 CMHSRP website… Financial Education Curriculum IDA Project Information Other Self-Determination Tools Supported Employment Tools For Further Information… Contact Tina Carter… (phone)


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