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Breathing Space debt respite scheme

Breathing Space is a new initiative that was implemented on 4 May 2021. It's been developed and introduced by the Treasury and is formed of 2 different schemes.

The first is a debt respite scheme. It provides protections for people who are resident in England and Wales in problem debt and who access debt advice and meet eligibility criteria and conditions. You should access this scheme via your debt advisor. A list of free debt advice providers is available.

The second is a scheme called Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space (MHCBS). This has been developed for people receiving mental health crisis treatment so that they don't have to access debt advice first. Eligibility for a MHCBS is defined as being in receipt of mental health crisis treatment - so if they're:

  • detained for assessment or treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983
  • removed to a Place of Safety under the Mental Health Act 1983
  • receiving crisis, emergency or acute care or treatment in any setting from a specialist mental health service for a mental disorder of a serious nature

Requests to access the MHCBS can be made by any professional, service user, carer or other advocate or representative by completing the referral form for MHCBS.

Once submitted, please send any additional supporting information to Derbyshire AMHP service, email with the patient's full name and date of birth in the subject title.

Include, when possible, the name of a 'nominated point of contact' - like the person's care co-ordinator, registered mental health nurse or an approved mental health professional (AMHP).

Following receipt of all the information an AMHP will check it. If approved, they'll complete, sign and date the MHCBS evidence form before returning it to the referrer.