Mental Health, The News & Policies.

Mark unravels after sanctions: “The process left me feeling suicidal.”

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Originally posted on Ann McGauran:

Mark Bothwell is now recovering from his sanctions trauma Mark Bothwell is now recovering from his sanctions trauma

According to Vox Political  and the Disability News Service, the UK government seems to have become the first country to face a high-level inquiry by the United Nation’s Committee on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD). The committee has the power to do this if it receives what it calls “reliable information of grave or systemic violations” of the rights of disabled people by a country signed up to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and its optional protocol.

The committee conducts its investigations “confidentially”, so it has refused to confirm or deny that the UK is being investigated. Disability News Service has reported that CRPD appeared to have put off its public examination of the UK’s approach to implementing the disability convention until after next year’s general election. According to Vox Political, it…

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Nick (@mylegalforum) Takes on IDS ………

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Originally posted on Diary of an SAH Stroke Survivor:

I am sure my readers will agree, for too long Iain Duncan Smith has been allowed off the hook in all manner of Press and Media we the people, we the social security claimants now have a chance to try and address that and try and bring some balance with the truth being told.

How do we do that? by putting IDS up against a very worthy contender some one who knows the truth someone who has worked tirelessly to bust the lies and deceit that this man spill almost daily and that man is Nick Dilworth who runs the excellent blog My Legal Forum and is Co-Founder of #newapproach who bring you the below message:

Nick is our USP. He’s the only campaigner who has first had experience on the front line dealing, on a daily basis, with the horror of the failed #WCA trying to pick up the…

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Suicide Prevention for All: Making the World a Safer Place to Be Human

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Originally posted on Beyond Meds:

By Leah Harris

Is it melancholy to think that a world that Robin Williams can’t live in must be broken? To tie this sad event to the overarching misery of our times?

– Russell Brand, comedian/actor

Like millions, I am sitting with the fact that one of the funniest people to grace the planet has died by his own hand. Robin Williams’ death has hit people of my generation, Generation X, especially hard. After all, his face flashed often across our childhood screens. Mork and Mindy episodes were a source of solace for me as a little girl, as I bounced around between foster homes and family members’ homes, while my single mother cycled in and out of the state mental hospital, fighting to survive. I could laugh and say “nanu, nanu – shazbot” and “KO” and do the silly hand sign and forget for just a little while about…

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Dr Tom O’Brien – Treating Depression Without Drugs

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Originally posted on Leonie's Blog:

Treating depression without drugs. Prescription drugs and illegal drugs can be highly addictive. For anyone suffering from addiction or just needing help, Dr Tom is a really nice guy. A nice Doctor, willing to help – wish I knew him before Shane died. Check out his blog, contact him here or sign up for his workshop. Details below.

Tom O'Brien

Tom 1

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Schizophrenia and then Alzheimer’s

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Originally posted on Jill's Experiences with Mental Health , Stigma, Alzheimer's Disease, Grief & Grieving & serenade2seniors:

Although schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s are very different, the

While living through schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s, I had to learn that it was not what happened to me that counted, but, how I dealt with each one of them.

i learned that my anger at schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s were destroying me, so, i learned to do something about it. There were times when I felt as if my heart had turned to stone and it was a long time before I gained the ability to laugh, to feel even the tiniest emotion or to be open to loving again.

I had to learn that although pain is inevitable, extended suffering is optional. As there was no way that I could change the  cards that my family had been dealt, I had to learn to change the way I played each hand.

All this took a long time, but eventually, I  learned to…

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Universal Credit: Housing Benefit Claimants Told To Pay Rent A Month In Advance

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Originally posted on UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR:

Housing Associations have told tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit to pay their rent a month in advance, due to growing fears over Universal Credit.

Housing providers fear that tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit may default, or fall behind on their rent payments when they are transferred (moved) to Universal Credit, which is replacing six existing benefits and rolling them into one single monthly payment.

Housing Benefit is currently paid directly to social landlords in the majority of cases. Under the new Universal Credit system, housing support will be paid directly to the claimant.

Those claimants will then be expected to manage their own housing costs – a month in advance. In the minority of cases where a claimant may not be able or capable of managing their own housing costs, rent payments may still be paid directly to housing providers.

Six Town Housing based in Bury, Lancashire…

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“I Was Glad When I Was Diagnosed With Autism”

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Originally posted on Same Difference:

From yesterday’s Guardian:

Here’s a secret: I was glad when I was diagnosed with autism.

It’s not about wanting to be autistic. It’s about that moment of sharp relief, feeling vindicated, almost.

The diagnosis is a scrap of paper in the world that tells you: “This is not your fault. You are not lazy, you are not spoiled or incompetent, you are not simply difficult. Dropping out of school: not your fault. Extreme food restrictions: not your fault. Weird movements, easily overloaded, going mute when stressed: not your fault. Over-the-top obsessions, being an outsider, desperately needing structure and predictability: not your fault.”

When you’re 14 years old and depressed, wracked with guilt because you’ve always been the smart one: those three words are powerful. Black and white. Official letterhead. A team of psychologists. Not your fault.

There’s relief. There’s freedom. There’s the sense of things clicking into place, a reason…

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#Exeter: Shocking litany of sexual abuse from (still practicing) groping psychotherapist . #MentalHealth

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  • Tina Welch, 49, told to undress during a session with her therapist boss
  • John Clapham, 67, said it would help her with ‘intimacy problems’
  • He told another employee to remove her underwear during a massage
  • Clapham has been struck off as a therapist but still operates

Read more:

Trauma and The Soul: A psycho-spiritual approach to human development and its interruption

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Originally posted on Beyond Meds:

With beautifully synchronistic timing, yesterday, I just posted about Donald Kalsched‘s first book, The Inner World of Trauma. The Inner Life of Trauma  was a most fundamentally important book for me and it seems many others. Today I found this lovely interview on a friend’s blog about his second book, Trauma and the Soul. Thank you too William Harryman at Integral Options Cafe for alerting me to this talk.

From Shrink Rap Radio:

traumaDonald Kalsched, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist and Jungian Psychoanalyst in private practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a senior training analyst with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts where he teaches and supervises. His 1996 book The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defences of the Personal Spirit, has found a wide readership in both psychoanalytic and Jungian circles and has been translated into many languages. Dr. Kalsched teaches and…

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Number of Sick And Disabled Claimants Facing Sanctions Triples In Just Six Months

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lost for words….

Originally posted on the void:

sanction-sabsThe number of sick or disabled people who have had there benefit sanctioned for not taking part in ‘work related activity’ has almost tripled compared to just six months ago the latest figures show.

7.507 claimants on Employment Support Allowance (ESA), had their benefits sanctioned in March 2014, up from 4,698 the previous month and 2,369 In Sepetember 2013.  This has taken the total number of ESA claims sanctioned to over 100,000 since the regime was disgracefully introduced by Labour.

These clamaints are in the Work Related Acivity Group (WRAG) of ESA, meaning they have been judged unable to work at present but may possibly be well enough for employment in the future.  They include people with serious and life-threatening conditions including cancer.  Astonishingly this group are still sent on the Work Programme, where they may face compulsory ‘back to work’ training or even workfare.  Should they fail to attend…

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ONS provides new estimate for numbers of people on zero-hour contracts

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Originally posted on alittleecon:

There have been a rash of data releases by various Government departments over the last week. I’ve put up blog posts already this week on housing benefit and universal credit stats, and here is another one, this time on zero-hours contracts (ZHCs). 

Before I start, I should say that I have had a job where I was on a ZHC, and it worked very well for me. Whilst at university, I worked in a bar. I was required to commit to three shifts a week, including one at the weekend, but was not guaranteed to get any work. For me this was great because I was reasonably well liked by the management so was always offered plenty of hours, while at the same time being able to pick and choose when I worked. Others were not so lucky, and were given few hours at quiet times. As the job was…

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Bedroom Tax – huge INTER and INTRA regional impacts

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Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

When anyone asserts that the bedroom tax does this or does that they are talking through their backsides!!

  • No MP or ANY political party
  • No social landlord wherever they are based
  • No Chief Executive of any social landlord
  • No housing lobby such as CIH or NHF
  • No journalist whether in the Guardian, Telegraph or Inside Housing
  • No tenant
  • No housing consultant / campaigner / activist / blogger (ahem!!)
  • Not even the most reputable research organisation or think tank such as JRF et al…

…can say definitively that the bedroom tax impacts are X Y or Z and this is due to the massive and hugely different impacts from London to the North West (INTER regionally) and the massively different impacts within regions (INTRA regionally) such as this simple table of FACT reveals.

The table is a simple one I devised in ten minutes from yesterdays official release of the Housing Benefit…

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It’s okay to ask for help. Yes, but what if there isn’t any?

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Originally posted on Sectioned:

It is okay to ask for help Mind Charity

It’s okay to ask for help, as today’s Mind charity tweet says. However, it is NOT okay to have to ask again and again and still not get appropriate and timely help – or any help at all.

Thoughts exploring the theme of lack of actual help available for mental health problems, whether or not you’re able to ask.

(To be expanded into a written blog post when I have time.)



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“I didn’t want my first #JSA meeting to be in a group session with a G4S guard.”

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Originally posted on Same Difference:

With many thanks to Kate Belgrave.

I’d be keen to hear back from anyone who has experience of this:

I spent a couple of hours today talking with someone who is a new JSA claimant in North London. This man started his JSA claim a couple of weeks ago. It’s the first claim he’s made. He filled in an application form online and then was sent a text by the DWP some days later which called him to a meeting at a London jobcentre in the first week of August.

He assumed that the meeting would be one-to-one with a jobcentre advisor – a meeting where an advisor goes through the application in detail with the claimant and jobsearch requirements are set – but instead found that the meeting was a group session with about ten other new claimants and one G4S security guard who sat in the room the…

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One Last Push! Sign and Share The Petition Calling For An Inquiry Into The Sanctions That Killed David Clapson

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Originally posted on the void:

MAIN--David-ClapsonThis petition calling for an inquiry into the benefit sanctions which killed David Clapson has hit almost 75,000 signatures in just over a week.

Mr Clapson had his benefits stopped after missing a meeting with the Jobcentre.  This left him unable to chill the insulin he needed to manage his diabetes and without any money for food or electricity.  Shortly after his benefits were sanctioned he was found dead without any food in his stomach.

His sister launched the petition last week calling an inquiry into benefit  sanctions and the terrible damage they inflict.  Tens of thousands of people have signed already.  The Government will do everything they can to ignore it, but behinds the scenes this will not go unnoticed.

Benefit sanctions are the teeth of welfare reform, and are designed as a form of punishment for being on benefits.  If you don’t jump through every hoop set up…

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DWP blames cancer patient for her illness

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It may well be a badly written letter, or we may well be taking it out of context, but it’s setting a pretty poor precident. If we are saying they are stating thus claimant with cancer may be at fault / contributing to her illness, I can only wonder what they will suggest to the mentally ill.

Originally posted on Pride's Purge:

(not satire – it’s the UK today!)

This letter from the Department for Work and Pensions was posted by Chris Nelson on Facebook (click to enlarge):

ewing's sarcoma

According to this letter, the DWP is clearly placing the ‘blame’ for having cancer on the patient herself.

Has the demonisation of welfare claimants in the UK got to the point where we’re blaming cancer patients for their own illnesses now?


Related articles by Tom Pride:

Mother’s plea for son who lost benefits after missing signing on because of cancer operationp

The government has finally done something so outrageous even I can’t be bothered to satirise it

Throat cancer victim – “this is not the England they fought and died for!”

Let’s be clear – Tory and Lib Dem MPs have decided terminally ill patients should work or starve

Don’t turn your back. Because you’re going to be disabled too one day.

ATOS assessor found blind woman fit…

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On sanity and self-inquiry

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Originally posted on Beyond Meds:

By Jen Peer Rich

inquiryInquiry is a spontaneous, honest investigation into what is happening in my mind, body and experience. When I am inquiring, I am awareness within every inch of what is here- thoughts, sensations, images, attuned with my senses, standing fully inside of this moment. I am home.

When I first started doing inquiry, I had a minuscule awareness of my own thoughts. For me life was an epic submersion in the neurotic narrations of my mind and dysfunctional attachments to various body identities. I believed my thoughts were real and really who I am. This lead to a lifetime of disastrous and destructive behaviors because of one simple misunderstanding that happened early on in life- that I am my thoughts and thoughts are real.

If I believe in thoughts, and that my thoughts are me, I am beholden to an array of insecurities arising with each and…

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Originally posted on Jill's Experiences with Mental Health , Stigma, Alzheimer's Disease, Grief & Grieving & serenade2seniors:

STIGMA is defined  as a sign of disgrace or discredit which sets a person apart from others. The STIGMA of mental illness remains a powerful negative attribute in all social relationships, as does Alzheimer’s disease.

STIGMA is a marker for adverse experiences, among them, a sense of shame , and is still perceived as a sign of weakness.

STIGMA means not having access to resources.

STIGMA means being reviled and becoming invisible.

STIGMA brings with it intense shame to the patient as well as to some families, resulting in a feeling of decreased self-worth.

STIGMA is connected to secrecy,

STIGMA causes anger which results in some families keeping friends and relatives at a distance.

ST iGMA leads to hopelessness resulting in helplessness.

LET US open our minds and our hearts and reduce the STIGMA noe!

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Annette Francis Overdosed In ‘Cry For Help’ Because Of PIP Backlog

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Originally posted on Same Difference:

Is Annette Francis the first known person to die as a result of the PIP backlog?

Readers, we must share her story as widely as we can. No one else can die for this reason.

A woman overdosed in a ‘cry for help’ after a Government backlog saw her deprived of benefits for six months, an inquest heard.

Annette Francis, 30, struggled to survive on the bread line and was potentially owed hundreds of pounds in welfare payments when she died.

She filed for disability living allowance (DLA) last September only to be told by the Department for Work and Pensions that benefit had been overhauled and was now called PIP – Personal Independence Payment.

Promises were made to pay Annette, but the money never arrived.

Eleanor, who suffered from depression and had a personality disorder, took the overdose while publishing on Facebook about how miserable she was, in a…

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August 8th: Severe ME Awareness and Remembrance Day.

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Originally posted on Carole...:

Hi Everyone!

This is my small contribution to Severe ME Awareness and Remembrance Day: August 8th 2014.

Imagine a world where four walls are your only view,

Not just for the day but for years sometimes decades.

Imagine some days you felt so ill you couldn’t raise your head from your pillow.

And you can barely speak or see.

But doctors won’t believe you and worse still, if they do, they have nothing…absolutely nothing to help you.

How would you cope and what would you do?

Would you lay there and give up?

It would be understandable if you did.

If you curled into a ball and slowly let go of life.

Or would you fight it?

Would you beg for help, for someone to please help ease the pain and the suffering.

Imagine how scary and how strange it would be if no-one was listening.

That safety net we…

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“Sometimes you get angels” – what a good support worker looks like

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Originally posted on A Bit Missing:

Many years ago a friend of mine said “Sometimes you get angels”. She was referring to those people who come into your life and support your kids. People who just get it – people who go the extra mile. Sara blogged about the Charlies Angels, who have gone above and beyond the call of duty with Connor – before and since his death quite a few times now. Really special people who make a massive difference. We too have been lucky to have quite a few of those supporting G over the years . Learning support assistants and teachers at both schools. The odd social worker and staff at respite/short breaks to name but a few.

I’ve mentioned quite a bit on here about G’s brilliant support staff at his house but last week I heard that one of them was leaving…I’m gutted!

Sacha (her real…

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Nurses have enough to deal with without body-shaming

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Originally posted on The Not So Big Society:

This morning I clicked on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website to discover an article by Christian Pattison giving a novel criticism of the nursing profession. We’re all too fat.

If you go anywhere near the NHS, you can’t fail to see it. The woman who marches you over to the scales and carefully records your weight, the man who asks you to roll up your sleeve and tells you to expect a “sharp scratch”: what they often have in common – apart from a desire to help – is that they’re pretty damn big.

Oh dear. Where to start?

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TUC Side With Bosses To Back Tory Workfare Scheme

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Well well well….

Originally posted on the void:

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

In an astonishing and genuinely sad day for the trade uni0n movement, the TUC have teamed up with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to issue a statement supporting unpaid work.

The TUC have sided with the bosses to sing the praises of the Tory Traineeship programme.  This unpaid scheme can involve up to five months full-time work, sometimes for giant profit making companies like BT or Virgin.  The placements are used to ‘prepare’ young people to be Apprentices, although there is no guarantee that they will be offered even this at the end of the scheme.

Just like Margaret Thatcher’s despised YTS schemes, Traineeships represent a wealth grab by greedy employers.  Once companies recognised they had to pay young people…

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