Home Opinion Government Must Not Ignore Devastating Impact Of Mental Health Disabilities

Government Must Not Ignore Devastating Impact Of Mental Health Disabilities

Classing mental health problems on the same level as physical disabilities is long overdue.

Must Read

Benefit claimant with broken back killed himself after being found ‘fit for work’ by DWP

He was left pennniless and unable to pay the rent or top up his electricity meter.

UK pensioners ‘suffering the worst poverty rate in western Europe’

Tories warned against further rises to the state pension age.

Jeremy Corbyn: Tories failing homeless children and poverty-stricken families

Labour leader vows to end the benefit freeze and halt the rollout of Universal Credit.

Half of private landlords say tenants on Universal Credit have rent arrears

54% of private landlords have tenants on Universal Credit who have fallen behind on rent payments.

If mental health services were better and more integrated into the health and social care system, less sufferers would need to claim disability related benefits.

However, rather than addressing the lack of medical and financial support for mental health patients, the government has adopted a position of blaming and punishing sufferers with draconian austerity cuts. This approach is not only counter-productive, it also harms the economy because less mental health sufferers are in the position to look for and/or hold down a job.

Whilst the Conservatives have claimed that they take the issue of mental health very seriously, there actions are yet to prove this. Funding cuts from central government has resulted in local authorities being forced to reduce the amount of services available to people with a mental health disability. This in turn has resulted in a rapid growth in disability benefit claims, purely related to mental health issues alone.

Rather than adopting a sensible, compassionate and more progressive approach to tackling mental health problems, the government has continuously failed to provide crucial financial and medical support to help sufferers improve their lives and job prospects.

Classing mental health problems on the same level as physical disabilities is long overdue. Unless the government and local authorities take immediate action to protect mental health services from austerity cuts, the lives of those suffering with mental health problems will remain on hold.

Britain is at risk of losing millions of potential workers to the scourge of mental health issues. By improving the quality and amount of support available to people with mental health problems, more of those affected would be in work and the economy would benefit as a result. Furthermore, less people would be in the position of needing to claim disability related benefits to make ends meet.

As a person with mental health problems myself, a recent visit to my GP left me in no doubt than Britain is still living in the dark ages in regard to mental health medicine. After asking to be referred to a mental health specialist, I was promptly told: “Sorry I cannot do that, you’ll have to refer yourself to a support group”. Whether this is indeed true, I do not know. But it does perhaps demonstrate how some doctors are failing to give mental health the respect and recognition it deserves.

Mental health disabilities can be truly devastating on a persons life, their family and their their ability to function as part of our society. In fact, some mental health conditions can be, for some, far more disabling than physical disabilities.

I will never forget the day I left home in the early hours of the morning with the thought of suicide on my mind. Thankfully I managed to talk myself out of it, but it should never have happened in the first place.

Positive reform, the improvement and adequate funding of mental health services should be in the forefront of all policy makers minds. We must not continue to ignore the devastating impact of mental health disabilities on people’s lives and the knock-on effect is has on our nations finances, families and communities.

Steven Preece, Welfare Weekly Editor

SUPPORT US!

If you would like to see more stories like this please consider a one off donation. Thank you for your support!

3 COMMENTS

  1. My GP told me last year that they are only allowed to offer psychiatric help for OCD and Paranoid Delusions. Anything else is waiting list for CBT or nothing.

    As far as the government goes, we will be off to a tribunal next week after an assessor gave my daughter, who has serious BPD and has been in therapy for 18 months after multiple suicide attempts, 0 pts for PIP. There doesn’t seem to be anything that can be done about these issues at all.

  2. When I was at last diagnosed with Bipolar in my mid-thirties and given
    access to the CMHT, my relief at that time centred around the fact
    that no GP could ever again refuse me medical assistance. They could
    say there wasn’t funding for therapy, or say that there wasn’t any
    service available, but they could never say: “Well, I’m not
    prescribing you anything.” which had happened twice in my life when
    I was suffering from a swing into serious clinical depression.

    One of those times was eight years or so after the double suicide of my
    father and brother. I had to beg the woman to read my notes.

    Some GP’s are atrocious with mental illness. Some (like the one I see now)
    are amazing. But… they should all be at least competent.

    As for the government, I agree with everything Steven. The only thing
    that will improve outcomes for mentally ill/disabled people is
    meaningful support (i.e. not ten minutes of CBT in a jobcentre), and
    security of that support.

    The government seems hell bent on making sure we experience the exact
    opposite.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FOLLOW US

16,639FansLike
9,361FollowersFollow

Latest News

Jeremy Corbyn: Tories failing homeless children and poverty-stricken families

Labour leader vows to end the benefit freeze and halt the rollout of Universal Credit.

Half of private landlords say tenants on Universal Credit have rent arrears

54% of private landlords have tenants on Universal Credit who have fallen behind on rent payments.

130,000 families forced to live in one bed flats due to chronic social housing shortage

Calls for a £12.8bn national investment in social housing building.

Paralympian supports disability charity at ‘Superhero Triathlon’

Participants came from across the United Kingdom.

Homeless children forced to live in shipping containers, report says

Children's Commissioner slams the "unforgiving welfare system" and high rents for trapping homeless families in temporary accommodation.

More Articles Like This