Benefits and Mental Health

I have a Guest post in this months Chronic Illness Inclusion Project  if you have 5 minutes to pop over and have a look at the site, as well as sharing my post, I would much appreciate it.

“Through therapy I recognised that I had internalised Neoliberal ideology; I had put a price on my own life and found myself lacking. Acknowledging this has given me the tools to address it. I am so fortunate to have had access to the appropriate therapy as it has helped me comprehend the real value of Life as a disabled woman but, more importantly, as me. I have forgiven myself for absorbing such poison but I cannot forgive the authors of this dehumanising rhetoric.”….

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The Price of Disability and Mental Health

Yesterday I completed almost 2 year of Psycho-dynamic Therapy, and the best part of this slightly scary but exciting experience is, it was my decision to leave. This may seem odd, but after dedicating more that 100 Tuesday afternoons to an intense examination of my life,  I am now well enough to stop. I have learnt so much in this time about myself, and  in in any other relationship I would call my therapist my best friend. She has supported me through this journey with intelligence and total compassion and it is Ali I will miss most.

Living with Depersonalisation means I have had to relearn what emotions feel like; to try and clarify this I ‘feel’ with my body, I experience the ranges of emotion physically, negative emotions like anger and I develop intense heartburn, annoyance is felt in my stomach, pleasurable emotions come from my back and shoulders. I understand this might seem really odd but it is a part of who I am, and now I recognise the signs I can manage my responses. Similarly learning to accept and understand why and how my Depression affects me I am confident I can better manage it.

With Ali’s assistance I have realised I will always have my mental illness, and that I can live with it without it consuming me, I have rediscovered that although I have both physical and mental disabling factors these do not define me.

Of the vast amount of knowledge I gained, the one I’m sharing is the reaffirmation that I along with every living being, is by virtue of our existence, Enough. Enough may seem a strange word to use, but I struggled to find one that didn’t suggest having a financially cost to it, a Google synonym check on valuable returned:  Precious, Costly, High-priced, High cost, Expensive, Dear, in the first line.

The notion of life having a price, allows and goes some way to inform the rhetoric of the current government. When each person apparently has a cost appointed to them; it most be remembered some people are deemed more expensive than others, for example it is asserted disabled people cost £570 a month,  Taking this a step further, Conservative  ideology appears to assert each person must literally ‘pay their way’  and wherever someone is entitled to financial help from the State, this Price is paramount.

I propose it is this thinking that underpins the persistent discrimination against people claiming benefits and in particular disabled people. Claimants are reminded throughout the process of claiming and interminably in the majority of main stream media, to be as Failing to contribute, and be the direct opposite of valuable which is worthless.

The seemingly endless assertions of worthlessness certainly amplified my recent descent into severe depression, and the increase in poverty I and other disabled people are experiencing will continue to have a negative impact on my mental health.

Through therapy I recognised I had internalised the Conservative ideology of a price on my own life, and that I had found myself lacking. However acknowledging this has given me the tools to address it, I have forgiven myself for absorbing this poison but not the authors of this rhetoric.

I know how fortunate I am to have had access to Ali, she has helped me comprehend the real value of Life as a disabled woman but more importantly as me.

 

More Evidence This Government Is The Killing STATE of #Tory Britain

Today the Observer View is around the imaginary reasons and victims of the Austerity Agenda. As I have continually said for the past 5 years the Tories have persistently developed and implements policies which actively discriminated against those who are most vulnerable, belong to minority groups and, or are the poorest.

The Observer states “Lacking a positive vision or plan, this is a government whose agenda is defined not by finding solutions, but scapegoats”. We Scapegoats are paying the price with our health, and with our lives; the time has to come when We say ENOUGH.

Two month ago I wrote a post with this name which I’ve left below as a reminder.Today further evidence of the discriminatory way Governments of the past ten years have treated Sick & Disabled people has been published “Sick and disabled Brits killed by the state – crime without punishment Successive UK Governments have restricted access to vital long-term sickness and disability benefits” by Welfare Weekly

It is time the attitudes and actions by Politicians towards not only disabled people but ALL individuals and groups not of the Elite; the disgusting treatment people labelled as  the #Windrush generation, the record number relying on Foodbanks to survive, the list goes on.

As the evidence Grows the words of Martin Niemoller haunt me

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist……Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Surely it is time to Demand the Government STOPS this and does so NOW; and if nothing else, remember you can make sure your voice is heard at next month the local elections, Use you vote to Say NO MORE KILLING

More than 100 women in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre have gone on hunger strike over “inhumane” conditions at the facility.” This is a situation beyond despair, the last time I could find multiple women forced into going on hunger strike was in Northern Ireland in 1980/81 with three Irish women starving themselves to death. Before then we have to return to a Century ago; what have the three times in common – Tory Governments.

I’m making no judgement as to why these women were incarcerated, although Asylum seekers and other migrants are imprisoned without committing crime; nor am I suggesting all of the women are innocent. But I am committed to the idea people do NOT enter the ‘Justice system’ to DIE.

Further It is not only women who are suffering in our jails, two men have hanged themselves just in the past two days, one teenager arrested for stealing sweets! On twitter  tells of watching a man be convicted of a series of shop thefts…what became clear was that his family were on the brink of starving & his children malnourished. Hence the thefts which were only of essential items.

In appears the ‘justice system’ is not fit for purpose, and as readers will know this is not the only Government Department desperately failing people of the UK; today a series of articles from @johnpringdns  show the DWP is subverting justice’ at appeal tribunals along with a council being forced to launch an inquiry into the death of a terminally-ill disabled woman who total package of  personal care had suddenly been withdrawn just a few days before she died. And New revelations how our old adversary Esther McVey, had LIED AGAIN to fellow MPs. Pop over to John’s site for more evidence of failure.

The continuing and ever increasing articles containing the evidence and details of vulnerable people DYING  as a result of systematic Government Failure disturbs me greatly. As a life long depressive I have seriously considered ending my life on many occasions in truth I FIGHT these thoughts DAILY, I’m not admitting this for sympathy, I really don’t need or want it, I’m stating this because I Loathe being subjected into survival mode due to an uncaring, dysfunctional and bigoted Establishment. I GET why the women in Yarl’s Wood are risking their lives, it becomes impossible to flourish as a vulnerable person in the UK today; but I HOPE none of them end up life their male counterparts above nor the woman dying because her essential care was removed.

No one deserves the struggles and despair the people above go and went through – None of us, including myself should be forced to fight daily to survive because our Politicians Lie about the dismal state of welfare and justice in the UK today.

I’ll keep on Fighting until I can no longer do so and I sincerely Hope you’ll all join with me to rid the UK of this vile Killing Government

The Killing STATE of #Tory Britain

More than 100 women in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre have gone on hunger strike over “inhumane” conditions at the facility.” This is a situation beyond despair, the last time I could find multiple women forced into going on hunger strike was in Northern Ireland in 1980/81 with three Irish women starving themselves to death. Before then we have to return to a Century ago; what have the three times in common – Tory Governments.

I’m making no judgement as to why these women were incarcerated, although Asylum seekers and other migrants are imprisoned without committing crime; nor am I suggesting all of the women are innocent. But I am committed to the idea people do NOT enter the ‘Justice system’ to DIE.

Further It is not only women who are suffering in our jails, two men have hanged themselves just in the past two days, one teenager arrested for stealing sweets! On twitter  tells of watching a man be convicted of a series of shop thefts…what became clear was that his family were on the brink of starving & his children malnourished. Hence the thefts which were only of essential items.

In appears the ‘justice system’ is not fit for purpose, and as readers will know this is not the only Government Department desperately failing people of the UK; today a series of articles from @johnpringdns  show the DWP is subverting justice’ at appeal tribunals along with a council being forced to launch an inquiry into the death of a terminally-ill disabled woman who total package of  personal care had suddenly been withdrawn just a few days before she died. And New revelations how our old adversary Esther McVey, had LIED AGAIN to fellow MPs. Pop over to John’s site for more evidence of failure.

The continuing and ever increasing articles containing the evidence and details of vulnerable people DYING  as a result of systematic Government Failure disturbs me greatly. As a life long depressive I have seriously considered ending my life on many occasions in truth I FIGHT these thoughts DAILY, I’m not admitting this for sympathy, I really don’t need or want it, I’m stating this because I Loathe being subjected into survival mode due to an uncaring, dysfunctional and bigoted Establishment. I GET why the women in Yarl’s Wood are risking their lives, it becomes impossible to flourish as a vulnerable person in the UK today; but I HOPE none of them end up life their male counterparts above nor the woman dying because her essential care was removed.

No one deserves the struggles and despair the people above go and went through – None of us, including myself should be forced to fight daily to survive because our Politicians Lie about the dismal state of welfare and justice in the UK today.

I’ll keep on Fighting until I can no longer do so and I sincerely Hope you’ll all join with me to rid the UK of this vile Killing Government

#DWP Review of #PIP A car crash waiting to happen.

So the ‘Honourable’ disabilities minister Sarah Newton stated in a press release (no questions people) the DWP is to review 1.6 Million PIP application forms; so the 220,000 claimants with Mental Health problems (of which I am one) should receive the Mobility element previously disallowed.

This simply Terrifies me. On paper I ought to be able to look forward to a point some time in the (distant?) future, my PIP award resembles a similar amount to that of my prior DLA – about an extra £35 a week. However  I share the fears of  fellow blogger  Joe Halewood ‏who said on Twitter “What sort of idiot thinks reassessing 1.6 m PIP claimants – and it will be a FULL reassessment not just MH aspects – is good news? PIP will go down as well as up and some will have it taken away. 1.6 m more stressed out claimants too!”

Given the Tories track record regarding Disability Benefits, I too am concerned this review will not merely identify claims with Mental Health elements to reassess, I feel this is more of an excuse for DWP to further slash PIP payments. In the aforementioned press release Ms Newton also stated ““We are working with stakeholders to change the PIP assessment guide so that we can implement the judgment.”

Oh dear, more ‘changes’ to the assessment guide? Whilst I  think some of the expected 220,000 claimants will have their benefit increased, I also concur with Joe “PIP will go down as well as up and some will have it taken away”. The outcomes of the original ‘changes’ to ESA, as well as the introduction of PIP, demonstrated the value the Tories have for disabled people; and it is for these reasons I Fear this review.

I am also slightly perturbed that this exercise will “take years” and whilst I agree priority for the upgrade should be given to “claimants who have since died, and those who had their benefits denied entirely“. But given this, it is more likely I will be reclaiming PIP before my claim is reviewed, therefore I will presumably not benefit at all from this whole carbuncle, and I know I will not be the only one.

Overall the only thing I KNOW concerning this situation is More Stress is guaranteed.

 

#Suicide is A Deadly Serious Issue A Response to Health Select/PHE

This week has seen a number of articles across the media focussed on Suicide; presumably this is a result of  reports from both the Governments Health Select and Public Health England (PHE) .

The report from the Health Select  chaired by Dr Sarah Wollaston MP , is an interim  progress update on the Suicide Prevention Programme, the committee  concluded ‘suicide is preventable‘ and made several recommendations, most of which will require the Government to increase spend across mental health  and support services for the programme to work. The report commissioned by Public Health England (PHE) aimed to to ‘gain a better understanding of factors that influence suicide‘ and was analysed by the  Office for National Statistics  to identify “which professions have the highest risk of suicide“.

The Health Select report also according to The Guardian  to “stop raising awareness of methods, which puts vulnerable people at risk” Now I can’t deny that watching or reading about suicide attempts may inform people however, I totally dispute people are driven to kill themselves as a result of  receiving this information.

The suggestion that most individuals watching a TV programme wherein a character kills themselves  would imitate the actions on screen is to me, highly offensive. As someone who has seriously considered ending my life on occasions, I am enraged by this patronising and totally simplistic idea. More importantly this conjecture indicates those MPs responsible for monitoring the Suicide Prevention Programme have little or no understanding of the complexity of the reasons why 18,998 individuals who ended their life 2011-15.

The  analysis of the causes of these 18,998 deaths between 2011 – 2015 was undertaken to inform the Health Select gain a better understanding of factors that influence suicide;  from this there are numerous media articles highlighting the varying occupations of people who have taken their lives. I’ve read of male construction workers, female nurses, tortured geniusesprimary school teachers, carers and  low skilled male workers all being at great risk; but few of them mention these findings of the ONS ” it may not be the actual occupation that puts individuals at risk, but features of the job such as low pay, job security and the wider socio-economic characteristics of individuals employed in a particular sector.

I suggest a common denominator amongst people employed in these high risk occupations is an equally high risk of stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues and propose it is these factors rather than information of ways to take your own life?

Given this I suggest the Health Select ought to be telling the Government to cease the destruction of Rights at work, introduce a living wage, stop the cuts to benefits and invest in immediate housing developments so low paid employees can access decent homes with long term secure leases and immediately provide the Health Service with the resources it needs to secure appropriate mental health services and support. Fulfilment of these suggestions would actually go some way to addressing some of the complex reasons for suicides, and therefore assure many suicides being “prevented”.

It must be noted, regardless of the purported desire by the Government to ‘prevent suicide’ it is ironic the committee report was released on the same day as NHS England finance chief Paul Baumann said £800m held in reserve, was to be available from CCGs for mental health services, community health services, primary care and other things, will now” be used to offset hospital overspends”  This is a clear demonstration of the lack of commitment the Government actually has to its ‘Suicide prevention programme’ and to the people living, and dying with and due to, poor Mental Health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell Your MP No More #Disability CUTS

A new Early Day Motion is tabled in Parliament  asking the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (S.I., 2017, No. 194), dated 22 February 2017, a copy of which was laid before this House on 23 February, be annulled.

What this means is the more MPs signing this appeal, the more chance the latest Cuts will be halted, and has already been proven they are NOT necessary, just a means to assist “cut the deficit

We already know disabled people have had their money sacrificed on the Austerity alter far more than any other group, and if you agree its time our MPs stood up for us Parliament contact them TODAY and tell them to support EDM 985 – Annul  New PIP Regs http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2016-17/985

Tweet  URGENT Send to MP support EDM 985 – Annul New PIP Regs NO MORE CUTS

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