Asking a Question, the Challenge open to us all

UPDATE – received replies from both  and @realbritainros and positive conversation – THANKS to both

I know I’m not alone in becoming more ill, month by month, particularly hard is the growing feeling of defeat; don’t get me wrong I’m still striving, hence this post but…the slowness of publications speaks volumes.

I still try to read the news every day, I still work to support people with their disability issues through DEAEP, but the feeling of proverbially banging my head increases; when reading the columns of those journalists I still value, they also seem to feel fighting the Tory onslaught is futile.

What brought this home is the Mirrors 16 of the scariest things we just learnt about benefits reform, it writes of Sanctions, Hunger, Homelessness, Health, IT (crap systems) Debt and touches on Tory Lies; yet it fails to mention the ever-lengthening list of people who have DIED through Benefit Reform?

This is despite the growing evidence of what we all know, these deaths ARE related to said government Policy – “Nearly 90 people a month are dying after being declared fit for work ” according to DWP figures, “One in five benefit-related deaths involved sanctions,”also from DWP stats and when a Coroner finds “Suicide was ‘triggered’ by ‘fit for work’ test“, the proof surely is conclusive.

Yet this loss of countless lives fails to makes the scariest things – Why?

Have we all become so inured to these deaths, the fact Benefit Reform Kills is no longer news; or is it more like the reasons purported for the Lords U-Turn last night? Are the press so afraid of backlash from the Tories, they report the data that affects the smallest group, especially when they are the scroungers?

I’m fully aware this is nothing new, but each time another journalist goes for the ‘softer’ option is another kick to my seriously depleted energy; as is every scrap on social media with us targeting each other – and the question why bother continuing, screams in my head.

This is not a request for neither do I need sympathy for my personal position; I’ve accepted its unlikely I’ll be here to witness the end of the fallout, which has to follow the demise of the cruellest and most brutal Government in the past 50 years. However, hopefully in 15 years or so, my grandchildren will be privileged to live as young adults in a world where, having a warm home with a full cupboard, won’t depend on them winning a lottery. This is my reason to keep on banging my head, to scrape up enough energy to occasionally write, or most importantly keep challenging.

Given this I’ve asked the article writer via  and @realbritainros who promoted this piece, WHY the 16 Scariest things don’t include DYING? Now Will You?

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Another Government ‘Fag packet’ proposal for Benefit Sanctions & Cuts ?

Rarely do I come across a Tory Policy proposal that makes me both Smile (albeit at the irony) and Shudder (with fear); but today’s report in the Telegraph does exactly this; “Hundreds of thousands of benefit claimants face being stripped of their state allowances if they refuse to undergo treatment for anxiety and depression“, this worries me on several levels.

The article quotes their source as saying “We know that depression and anxiety are treatable conditions. Cognitive behavioural therapies work and they get people stable again but you can’t mandate people to take that treatment“; I totally agree with the closing proviso but the apparent claim CBT works for depression and anxiety is False.

Firstly Depression is not a ‘one size fits all’ disorder, there are different types of this debilitating illness, and a notion it can be conveniently summed up to enforce potentially damaging treatment is downright dangerous as well as being futile.  This position applies equally to Anxiety, again there are different types of Anxiety disorders which require different specialist treatments; therefore this all embracing decision, being discussed by Politicians based upon saving money is, to me, terrifying.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy works to enable people understand the relationships between their feelings, thinking, behaviours and environment, and to identify ways in which these can become problems; ergo CBT only works when depression and, or anxiety arises from internal conflict. Personally I have found CBT to be of little or no use when clinical issues, i.e. schizophrenia, is  the primary causes of the disorder; further where external factors are reinforcing the disorders, I personally have found CBT only has limited benefits.  I am not purporting CBT has no use in supporting depressive or anxiety sufferers, but it is not the only form of treatment necessary for enabling improved mental health. Given the mandate for this scheme is the ” loads of people who claim ESA (for Depression and Anxiety) who undergo no treatment whatsoever“, it is difficult to understand how the Government is to utilise fully trained CBT workers anyway?

Minsters are already piloting different ways of implementing this scheme, four JobCentres are currently “combining “talking therapies” with employment support“; soon we will witness  “group work” to help build the “resilience” of individuals who are out of work and suffering with poor mental health” the “hiring specialist private organisations outside the NHS and welfare system to take control of providing a combination of psychological and employment support to claimants” and finally “online tests and therapies at improving individuals’ health and job prospects“. These four trials will then be assessed, presumably with cost effectiveness, being the primary focus’ so no prizes for guessing which ‘approach’ the Government will adopt – more work for the nudge unit coming up?

These trials are a joint effort between the DWP & Dept of Health, and emerge from the report Talking Therapies: a four year plan of action  and initially was targeted at people 18-65  as an “economic case on which it was based showed that providing therapy could benefit not only the individual but also the nation, by helping people come off sick pay and benefits and stay in or return to work“. There we have it another quick fix based on Finance First and presumably will form the basis of yet another area of Cuts in Welfare; but once again aimed at sick and disabled people

As I acknowledge at the beginning of this post, the Government Ministers making these decisions about how mental health sufferers should be treated, deny participation in these trials will be mandatory, seeming to recognise willingness to participate is central any talking treatment working. However the Telegraph states “Conservatives could include the proposal for mandatory treatments in the party manifesto next year as part of the next phase of reforms to the welfare state” and I can’t help but think they are probably accurate in this.

Will this turn out to be yet another example of how the Government says one thing and then does another? If you agree with me in this Join the TRUTH campaign

#NOWPetition #ImpeachDWP

Attending ATOS? WE Can Help:

Disability Enabling and Empowerment Project (Leic’s) (DEAEP) was set up in 2013 in response to identified needs; disabled, chronically sick and vulnerable people are increasingly required to demonstrate their need for the financially support necessary to survive, both often in employment, as well as not.

DEAEP is a social not for profit business that offers accredited training to  sick and disabled people, unemployed, and other vulnerable individuals. The training experience enables participants to, knowledgeably and confidently, actively support others during times of extreme stress; this could be attending ATOS assessments and, or to participate in social and community engagement.

So far we have a 100% success rate with people we’ve represented

The rationale behind DEAEP:

Anyone who’s disabled or chronically ill in the UK 2013, is only to well aware of the devastating effects of The Welfare Reform Bill, whether it be someone on Incapacity Benefit (IB) waiting for the dreaded assessment onto Employment Support Allowance (ESA); a new claimant for ESA after losing their job, or a current ESA recipient  who’s almost at the one year cut off time. It might be a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) recipient waiting for the claim form to apply for the new  Personal Independence Payment (PiP)

These are just some of the ways that Welfare Reform is affecting those of us too ill to work or live with the ever increasing costs of being disabled.

What these changes all have in common is the growing number of ‘assessments’ we’re all forced to undergo.

Many of us who have already experienced the cold, inhumane and in some cases, downright dangerous process of being assessed by ATOS,  know the associated costs these visits have on our health; from waiting for that now dreaded brown envelope, the energy it takes to complete the overly long complex claim form, the stress caused by actual ‘assessment’, through to the wait for the decision made at the DWP by a low level civil servant who might have had two days training in disability!

None of this is news to many of us, and many more disabled and sick people will soon be au-fait with this ever rotating process.

Many people on social networks like Facebook & Twitter have expressed the view that when  having someone to help them through this experience,  be it form filling, support at ‘assessments’ or at appeal it has helped them; and it is this what we at DEAEP aims to do.

We  offer free accredited training for people to skill them up, to then act as peer supporters for others going through this process.

We also can help with support at hospital/GP visits or in fact anywhere sick and disabled people feel having someone at their side to prompt them tell their story and get the truth across.

The training programme will also help participants in other areas, and can open doors to further education or even employment.

So if you are interested or require our help please contact us athttp://www.deaepleicester.moonfruit.com.

All personal and medical data disclosed is destroyed on conclusion of case

 

Your chance to #haveyoursayIDS

As you know from yesterdays blog we are going to meet with Liz Kendal and Kate Green on the 18th of November to submit our Petition about IDS & the DWP’s misuse of statistics, and asking the Work and Pensions Select Committee to hold Ian Duncan Smith to account for this and how it paints a dark and inaccurate picture of those on benefits, especially those on DLA and ESA.

As well as inviting those of you who signed our petition all 104,696 of us to attend the submission; we would like you to make a comment about how this misuse of Stats by the DWP has affected you, whether that’s emotionally, physically or if you have been a victim of hate crime associated with the media attacks fuelled by these Lies.

If you would like to make a comment please use the same email as before –  disabilitywatch@gmail.com and we will print out as many as we can, to bring with us to the hand over…

Lets tell the committee how we feel about what is happening… Please keep it clean, we don’t want to edit, we want it to be in your own words but we don’t want to lose the sympathy of the committee by being abusive…

Without all of you this campaign wouldn’t be going anywhere, it’s your voices that are important to us…

Jayne and Debbie xxx

A Tory plan to reintroduce the Workhouse

Rarely if ever have I read anything that has made me physically sick; this morning I came across a Government Report via fellow blogger johnny void that openly calls for “Residential Training is intended to help unemployed adults with disabilities, particularly those at risk of exclusion from the job market, to secure and sustain employment or self employment”  which to my mind describes nothing more than a workhouse.

Reading through this Report I went from Hot to Cold and back again as I rationalised the contents, from the executive summery to the Recommendations. The emphasis throughout is to stress the ‘benefits’ of the Residential element and attempts to demonstrate how that could apply to people on Work Programme which “provides support, work experience and training for up to 2 year” and Work Choice for people “ disabled and find it hard to work“.

The report also repeatedly recommends how this Residential programme might particularly suit people with “people with mental health issues” so much as the authors find it necessary to link unemployment rate figures against differing mental health ‘issues’ “phobia, panics, nervous disorders (14% employment rate) and depression, nerves/anxiety – (33% employment rate)“!

I suppose in order to provide a fair analysis I must also note the reports willingness to be inclusive, therefore I also note the authors desire to ensure this Residential training is also open to those the DWP deem to be “non-disabled people who are long term unemployed”. Although this is because “the unit cost of provision would then be driven down” rather than the programme suiting these potential trainees.

I can not here begin to offer a full analysis of this Report but I strongly urge you to take a look and if you can’t bear to read it all at least read the the 3 Case Studies which focus on opiate addiction and mental health issues, Scoliosis, Asthma, Autism, Aspergers, ADHD and Depression and severe mental health issues, alcohol abuse and long-term unemployment; these alone demonstrate the ‘type’ of individual the authors feel ought to be in Residential programmes, and then tell me this isn’t a case for a return to the Workhouse??

 

A Call for Impact Assessment on Disabled people to be debated by Parliament

It seems that every day there’s a new call to action, another petition to sign, a blog to RT, and so on; & I’m sure I’m not alone in having to make conscious decisions, often at an hourly rate about which new campaign to endorse.

Well for this one I’m making NO excuses, on Wednesday 10 July Labour is using Opposition Day to “debate the changes they have made that affect disabled people, and at about 16:00 we will force a vote to demand a Cumulative Impact Assessment by October  2013 at the latest

YES, at last the tireless work of Pat’s Petition, WOW, Spartacus and many many others has finally been recognised, but…this alone is not enough!

Between now & then we can all help make sure this debate is not lost; so please everyone

  • Write to your MP and ask them to back the motion
  • Write to your local paper and explain why we urgently need a cumulative impact assessment
  • Tweet your support using #MakeRightsReality

& do everything we can to make sure this vital motion is carried -“That this House believes that the Government should publish a cumulative impact assessment of the changes made by this Government that affect disabled people (to be published by October 2013).”

What is the Tory’s REAL End Game?

Please Note:There are no references in this blog merely my personal musings.

Am I alone in wondering just WHAT the Tories are thinking of? They seem to be intent on self-destruction; their Economic & Welfare Policies are isolating more and more people on a daily basis, their destruction of the NHS is infuriating people, their Education Polices are causing academics to scream, and so on. Outside of the UK their approaches are being criticised by Europe & the USA also.

I like many others have regularly questioned the mind set of the Coalition Cabinet but seriously, just WHAT do they think they will achieve by their actions?

I can’t help wonder if this particular set of Millionaire Politicians have deliberately set out to destroy the post WWII improvements to the standard of living for most UK citizens, whilst  whilst feathering their own nests. Their rationale, to ensure they achieve their perception of the true Status Quo – The Ruling Classes return to their position of total authority and the rest of us exist merely to serve.

I really don’t see any other reason for a Government to commit what seems to be Political Suicide unless, it is to decimate the Welfare State and the last bastion of equality the NHS, and to return education to a situation where our children are taught their place??