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‘They blamed me’: Banks aren’t doing enough to service those suffering from mental health issues

  • Mental health related services remain largely under-represented in fintech and banking spaces.
  • Empathy training for customer service experiences and accessible apps can help support people with mental health problems manage their money.
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‘They blamed me’: Banks aren’t doing enough to service those suffering from mental health issues

When Kevin Hines started as a freshman at San Jose State University, he started experiencing overwhelming separation anxiety from his family. Over time, the anxiety began to merge into a recurrence of his bipolar disorder which had been diagnosed earlier. His father, who was an economist and banker, had set up a trust fund for all of Hines’ college expenses. One day Hines found himself at a mall surrounded by a group of acquaintances having spent his entire trust fund on them.

“I dropped all of the funds in one sitting, in one day, in about an hour and a half period. Just gone. An hour and a half. I spent all this money on these people that I didn’t even know,” said Hines. 

When Kevin Hines started as a freshman at San Jose State University, he started experiencing overwhelming separation anxiety from his family. Over time, the anxiety began to merge into a recurrence of his bipolar disorder which had been diagnosed earlier. His father, who was an economist and banker, had set up a trust fund for all of Hines’ college expenses. One day Hines found himself at a mall surrounded by a group of acquaintances having spent his entire trust fund on them.

“I dropped all of the funds in one sitting, in one day, in about an hour and a half period. Just gone. An hour and a half. I spent all this money on these people that I didn’t even know,” said Hines. 

According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, “excessive involvement in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences” are commonplace during a manic episode. Examples of this can manifest in unrestrained and erratic spending or engagement in impulsive business investments.

 


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