Mental Health – Talk or Stay Silent?

Also at http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jayne-linney/mental-health-talk-or-stay-silent_b_9416632.html

Today Mind have launched their “Take Off The Tape” Campaign which focusses on Anxiety; their website states “Do you talk about what’s most worrying you? Or do you keep your mouth shut about things that make you anxious?… Stop being silenced by your anxiety“.

Whilst as a mental health sufferer and counsellor  I welcome this recognition of the dangers and devastation of living with poor mental health, and can understand how talking openly about their anxieties and concerns might be of some help in some cases. The relief of ‘getting things of your chest’ can help you feel lighter and may for  while,help with the symptoms but faced with a personal trigger and you’re right back where you were, because talking does not help deal with the cause of your mental health.

Mental Health is currently being widely acknowledged, from the media to government  as a real problem, This may have something to do with the growing numbers of people experiencing poor mental health, this rise is being witnessed in children, employees, new mums and the Armed forces, to name just a few of the recognised groups , but whatever the reason, most reports concur the rise is down to  cuts to services and the pressures of the Austerity agenda; even the Governments ‘pledge’ for a revolution in mental health treatment and the accompanying investment in services,  accepts poor Mental Health is to do with poverty.

Living in Poverty from the real fears of not being able to manage financially to the social isolation it causes is extremely stressful, and excessive stress is an established trigger for depression (i). Add to this ill health, another one of the biggest causes of stress , and you regularly have a situation for mental melt down; and we at DEAEP are seeing numerous examples of this. People are coming to us trapped in this viscous cycle of poverty & depression, most of them are experiencing benefit cuts and are being offered no option other surviving with less than they need; and in the most extreme cases or being institutionalised. Is it any wonder these people are finding themselves experiencing extreme pain, exasperation of existing conditions and Mental Health problems?

What I find most disconcerting, is whilst mental health as a health issue, is experiencing the benefits of publicity and recognition;what is less acknowledged is the associated rise in penalisation of those of us with poor mental health. We are at a much higher risk of being detained against our will, with a 9.8% increase, almost Double the figures for 1013/14,  of people being detained under the Mental Health Act; We are more likely to be sanctioned if we claim benefits with a 600% rise over the past four years, and whilst 6,122 of us over the age of 10 committed suicide in 2014, the rates for both women and men outside of  institutions rose.  Given this it seems we’re equally damned if we do admit our vulnerabilities and Talk.

 

 

 

i Makosky, V. P. (1982) ‘Sources of stress: Events or conditions? ‘ In: D. Belle (ed.) Lives in stress: Women and Depression, pp. 35–53. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage

Sickness worsening? Beware following DWP rules

Before Christmas I attended an emergency interim appointment with my psychotherapist, (I’m still waiting regular appointments 2 years after referral); this was due to my continuous depression and dissociation becoming dangerous, I was constantly fighting thoughts of suicide . Because the S word was used, my therapist was obliged to write to my GP, which then led to my carer being compelled to inform the DWP of a change in my circumstances; what amazed me was, this reported change resulted in me having to complete a new claim!

Why the DWP feel a deterioration in mental health would be helped by having to go through the process of a new claim I’ve no idea? Anyway my carer duly filled in the form, and on page 31, other information, he stated HE was both my full time carer and would be acting as my representative, this was then sent off along with the appropriate report from my therapist.

I received a home visit fairly quickly from a pleasant man, who after numerous requests as to his qualifications, reluctantly admitted he was a paramedic; when it came to him asking me about my mental health he decided it would be a good idea to tell me of his experiences of dealing with people who had taken their own lives. In truth all this did, was inform me where not to carry out my thoughts, and in no way made me feel any more positive; if anything it caused me to focus on my suicide plan even more.

Two weeks ago the dreaded brown envelope arrived with the decision; which along with the usual errors of the decision makers (DM) not reading the information, this unknown DM had in their wisdom, determined, because I am still on the waiting list for regular therapy, my mental health wasn’t too bad!

As if this wasn’t enough to deal with, the same day my daughter phoned and said she had also received a copy of my decision; I went ballistic. The whole reason for Tony, my partner dealing with everything was because I didn’t want my daughter knowing just how ill I was.

As this was a Saturday, I stressed until the Monday morning when Tony rang to request a copy of the assessors report, he also asked why my information had been sent out to another person; the call centre operative checked and apparently a decision maker had decided to change him as my rep and add my daughter instead?!!

A complaint was immediately written and sent off and we’re awaiting the response; so be warned, if you have a change in circumstances be prepared to go through yet another claim and hope your info doesn’t get sent to anyone else.

I’ll update this when the reply arrives.

 

SO, The Archbishop offers platitudes to Mail Readers

Apologies in advance to any protestant Christians.

I’m Livid, the bloody Eton schooled Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has finally spoke up on people going hungry here in the UK ; so what does he do, writes in the Mail on Sunday. He use this space to preach about bigger foodbanks, a rise in the minimum wage, free school meals all year round and making it harder to sanction benefit recipients.

I admit as an atheist, I think the only point of Churches are as Historical buildings, linked to a time of blind obedience to a richer man; and the sanctimonious drivel from Welby  has not changed my opinion.

If this man was really worried about the poorer people

  • he’d be leading an inquiry into WHY we need Foodbanks not talking of expending them
  • he’d be campaigning for a decent Living Wage not a mere increase of the minimum;
  • he’d by demanding to know WHY people on benefits are bring treated as forth class citizens and
  • he’d by instructing his churches to pay taxes on their income.

This would be something worth writing about?

DWP Breaks its Own Rules when threatening Support Group Members

Further to my post earlier this week, today another example of the most seriously ill disabled people being told they must attend work focussed interviews or else be sanctioned; never mind this is in direct conflict with the DWP’s own guidance which states :

Support Group

If you have a condition that severely limits what you can do, you’ll be in the support group. You’ll not be expected to look for work and we won’t expect you to take place in any work-focussed interviews”.

How the DWP are going to Spin this is yet yo been seen; what I do know is this is yet another time this unelected Government has deliberately broke it’s own rules and then Lied about it!

This ongoing Discriniation against Disabled People is  Totally Unacceptable & I can only hope people say ENOUGH

It is Time to Join the Truth Campaign and Sign the Petition  to STOP The SPIN.

#NOWPetition #Impeach DWP

The Government Denies DWP Lies…YET…here are MORE “Lies and Damn Lies”

The Government has responded to the W&P Select Committee’s investigation of performance of the Department for Work and Pensions in 2012-13 – and as we expected the Government’s response is full of rhetoric of how well the DWP is doing and focus on the range of processes to ensure their Statistics are always good.

These include

Select Recommendation –  needs to exercise care in the language used in accompanying press releases and ministerial comments in the media. 2013 saw heightened and quite widespread concern—including from the UK Statistics Authority and organisations representing disabled people—about the DWP commentary accompanying releases of benefits statistics

Response – DWP is : is very careful about the language used when referring to benefit claimants, making clear that it is the system itself that has for too long trapped people into a life of welfare dependency. That is why this Government is making such a radical overhaul of the benefits system, to restore integrity and ensure that everyone who needs help and support receives it….statistical releases are produced and published separately to and independently from other Departmental comment or publications. Great care is taken by our statisticians to ensure the statistical releases are easy to read and understand, and are balanced and impartial….Training courses have also been run for Press Office staff, together with guidance having been issued on the use of statistics… ensure ministerial and official public statements are accompanied, whenever possible, by the released data and/or a link to the statistical release to which the press release refers. These statements are cleared with the relevant analysts for their statistical integrity.

And on it goes, defended the DWP and denying its ministers ever use inaccurate or false statistics.

The day after despite all the hype we learnt IDS & McVey are staying in control of the DWP, we witness another set of “Lies, damn lies and failing DWP bedroom tax report“.  Joe Halewood  in this excellent post, which I strongly suggest you read points out “On the same day as the cabinet reshuffle the DWP released a 163-page interim report into the bedroom tax.  Unfortunately this deliberate burial of a report is the best that can be said for it as it really is that bad“. He continues to identify major errors both in the writing of the report and a number of lies contained within it

For me this situation demonstrates precisely WHY we must continue to demand this Government deal with this situation, as despite the official response to the Select…the position remains the same. People from minority and oppressed communities are increasingly being blamed for the state of the nation; whilst Government continues to not only perpetuate this with their Lies but also through denying any responsibility or fault.

For thiese reasons, please keep sharing the #NOWPetition and show the Government WE the People WILL scrutinise them and we WILL Demand our RIGHTS to the TRUTH

Thanks all

 TRUTHCampaign #NOWPetition #ImpeachDWP

Government Policies are Bad for our Health – Time for Challenge #NowPetition

The latest group to be hard hit by Government Policies are women employees, Female workers hit hardest by Austerity Agenda & associated Cuts, this won’t be a surprise to anyone not fortunate to earn enough; but for most of us, this is another example of how Government Policies are penalising the majority of people – simply because they are not rich.

The past four years are strewn with evidence demonstrating precisely how, outcomes of Government Reforms have been detrimental to the general public; Welfare Reform has brought about WorkfareBenefit CapBedroom TaxPIP, and  changes to ESA, JSA sanctions  & Tax Credits, to cite a few of the programmes. All of the above, have been criticised by numerous independent groups, charities, think tanks and across social media, as not only being prejudicial but as being incongruous. Similar criticism applies to Policies in Justice Reform, the Home Office, the Health ServiceTax & Revenue etc. Further we’ve been subjected to a series of inconsistencies from various Minsters & MPs across Parliament, from expense claims to downright untruths; and this behaviour in the main goes unchallenged, or worse is defended.

These Policies and Programmes have had a negative effect on  disabled people, older people, black & minority ethnic people, low paid people, jobless people, children and women, and  the articles used in the above links, are merely examples of the plethora of  evidence available. This leads me to one conclusion; current Government Policies, particularly when based upon such questionable, data are damaging the health and well-being of the majority of people in the UK.

It is for this reason we are challenging Parliament to STOP the SPIN, we want Government to ensure  their Laws and Policies, are fair and based upon Fact; further we are  dissatisfied with Political attempts at psychological coercion, with MPs persistently misusing statistics to justify prejudicial Polices.

For these reasons we believe the TRUTH Campaign will positively challenge Government; and as people afflicted by the current raft of unjust Policies, we demand change.

If you, your family, friends, colleagues etc are negatively affected by any Government Policies – Join the TRUTH Campaign – sign our petition, join our Time For Truth Thunderclap, tweet #NOWPetition #ImpeachDWP, share on Social Media; and Spread the word Government Policies are Bad for our Health

 

Time For The Truth

I’ve discussed the behaviour of the DWP misusing Statistics on several occasions, from our successful petition asking the Welfare & Pensions Select to investigate these actions, to the introduction of  the newly formed single fraud investigation service, (SFIS), allegedly costing £140 millionThe misrepresentation of information is how different Politicians have repeatedly spoken on Welfare Reform, they have persisted with their interpretations even after the UK Statistics Authority have refuted it.

The Governments rationale behind such conduct certainly indicates their increasing use of  psychological coercion with various Departments insisting, their version of data is correct rejecting all alternate information and separate opinions, they have devised rules that control the topics they determine permissible to discuss, and all communication is highly controlled.

A recent example of this was the development of  SFIS a cross Government strategy to reduce fraud and error”. I’ve previously considered the validity of the DWP’s claim, this group was established to save money, but with One Billion Pound being spent to reduce the cost of Fraud & Error, when the total annual amount lost  is One Billion Pound, this seems highly unlikely? The official press release from the DWP quoted Lord Freud’s claims “Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support fraud and error overpayments are at their lowest recorded levels.” Yet looking closer at this claim we find Council Tax data is no longer included in DWP figures, the responsibility has shifted to Local Authorities and this Tax is equivalent to  “2% of overall welfare expenditure” which is the difference  in Fraud and Error pre the inception of SFIS.

This example fulfils both the definition of  psychological coercion above and as used by Dr Lynne Friedli in her claim, Government uses such  to ‘formulate and gain consent for the current regime of welfare reform’. Friedli also discusses how psychological coercion affects the way both claimants feel about themselves and those not claiming benefits view others; this becomes even more relevant when the misuse of data by Government is reported verbatim by the media, as it reinforces the principles and purpose behind programmes like SFIS.

The incessant use of psychological coercion has multiple negative affects, it results in the recipient becoming “confused, intimidated and silenced by actions accepted as harmful, such as uncompromising influence, involuntary servitude, and infliction of emotional distress“; it leaves us “compliant” and ultimately brainwashed. Interestingly The Home Office already includes coercive control as an element of abuse, but only as it applies to domestic violence.

The fact the Government’s Department responsible for Law, recognises the damage of psychological coercion, is an irony not to be lost, as we continue to struggle against the gamut of detrimental Policies and daily rhetoric of  media coercion; nor should the paradox of the Government’s attempts to catch people allegedly falsely claiming benefits, whilst using falsified data to justify the expense.

Time For The Truth?

 

 

UK Poverty IS a National Disgrace – For Everyone

This is an email I felt had to be wriiten, it was sent to Paul O’ Grady in response to his article on Child Poverty in yesterday’s Mirror – sent to him via his website email

 

Dear Paul

 
Further to your article in the Mirror today, whilst I totally agree with you, I wish you and others concerned with this disgraceful situation,would also acknowledge this problem extends to include Millions of disabled, elderly and other vulnerable people; in fact dozens of disabled people are dying weekly and to date the figure since the inception of Welfare Reform could be as high as 38,000+
 
I totally concur with your points that poorer children are more likely to have mental health problems, and again this is the position with all people in poverty;
and I agree the current position should be a national disgrace, particularly whilst the Richest prosper disproportionally in the UK. Embarrassingly whilst the treatment of disabled people is so severe, our media, in the main ignores it, and yet other nationalities agree it warrants reporting in their National Press press, I refer to this article in Le Monde
 
I hope you can find the time to read the links as I’m sure you will agree that Poverty in the UK is a Disgrace regardless of the people it affects.
 
Regards
 
Jayne Linney
I’ll let you know if I get a response
 

MORE Reasons to Sign – STOP Ministers Spinning Stats (or LYING)

Over the weekend I’ve noticed three separate articles all linked to DWP actions that, we the public have been LIED TO about by Ids, McVey, Penning & even Consultants –

The Guardian wrote how – Frank Field MP has found Evidence behind growth in food banks and benefits claimants; Field as chair of the all-party group set up to investigate hunger and food poverty discovered “the disproportionately large increase (use of food banks) seen in the poorest households is due entirely to rising housing and fuel costs” . However this week McVey wrote to the Scottish Government this week stating there is “no robust evidence linking food bank usage to welfare reform”  

Fellow blogger Kitty Jones reported on – Rising ESA sanctions with a rise of “334% between December 2012 and December 2013″; it took a Freedom of Information request to release even these figures which are an ‘estimate. Debbie Abrahams MP asked McVey for an Independent investigation  into the growing number of sanctions last November, which she agreed to however ” the Government have now said they won’t set one up“; what could possibly be the reason for this, Abrahams believes “The last thing Iain Duncan Smith and Esther McVey want is for that uncomfortable truth to be uncovered by a focussed and independent investigation.”

Mike Sivier at Vox Political questioned How Prof Lichfield, the man assessing the suitability of WCA could claim he hadn’t “any information” and he hadn’t “seen numbers” on any people “dying every week as a result of being found fit for work after an assessment”; as Mike says “He could have, at least, looked up the government’s own statistical release‘Incapacity Benefits – Deaths of Recipients’ from July 2012“. Further it doesn’t take any mathematical experience to make an informed estimate as to the current figure, I did this this in February suggesting  the number could be as high as “38,564 deaths over the 3 years the Coalition has been in Government.”.

These are three different situations where Ministers and the DWP Press office lie to the public about the Reality of life as a benefit claimant in the UK today, and it is for these and numerous other incidents where the Truth is hidden and denied that Debbie & I have published our 2nd petition  demanding the House of Commons STOP Minsters spinning statistics.

We Deserve the Truth from our Politicians, particularly when their Polices result in Poverty, Abuse & Death, if you agree – Sign & Share the #NowPetition widely and help us #ImpeachDWP