Austerity and a malign benefits regime are profoundly damaging mental health
442 psychotherapists, counsellors and academics condemn government plans and call on Labour and other parties to denounce anti-therapeutic practices
Austerity is having a ‘profoundly disturbing’ effect on Britain’s mental health, say experts
Austerity and cuts to benefits designed to drive people to work is having a “profoundly disturbing” effect on the people’s mental health, according to a letter signed by hundreds of psychotherapists, councillors and other experts in the field.
The letter, sent to The Guardian newspaper, warned that poverty and increasing inequality was causing a new wave of distress in Britain.
It said that what they described as the Government’s “get to work therapy” was “manifestly not therapy at all”.
Welfare cuts will push Britain’s mental health services towards crisis
Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Iain Duncan Smith, recently proposed a further £12 billion of cuts to benefits. Making such cuts is likely to disproportionately affect the most vulnerable, including those with mental health problems and other disabilities. After all, approximately half of people who need support from the disability benefit Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) do so because of their mental health.
A Tory councillor has provoked a Twitter backlash after claiming that food banks are only visited by “those with drug, alcohol and mental health problems”.
Mark Winn, who is also a civil servant with the Ministry of Defence and until recently held an appointment on Buckinghamshire council’s health scrutiny committee, hit out at what he called “the BBC doing Labour’s bidding” after watching an episode of Casualty on Saturday night.
Mental health patient admissions to A&E set to reach record levels
The number of people with a mental health condition admitted to hospital as an emergency is likely to reach its highest level ever this winter, a former health minister has warned.
An estimated 280,000 mental health patients will be admitted to hospital as an emergency in the last three months of 2014, latest analysis suggests as emergency doctors warned that overstretched A&E departments are the wrong place for people in mental distress.
NICK Clegg is asking people to nominate their mental health “heroes”.
The Deputy Prime Minister wants to hear about anyone from health professionals to friends and neighbours who have helped those with mental health conditions.
Mr Clegg, the Sheffield Hallam MP, said: “It could be the woman sitting next to you on the bus, the dad picking his child up at the school gates or a colleague from work – everyone knows someone living with a mental health problem.
“People who are in need of psychiatric admission should have the right to be treated in a local hospital”
A mental health service has said it is being forced to send patients almost 200 miles away for treatment because it is struggling to meet demand for beds.
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust said it operates at 100% capacity for a majority of the time.
It said beds will “always be found” in an emergency, but patients have been sent as far as Brighton and Carlisle.
The core ideal of the NHS, that makes it so beloved by British people, is its promise of healthcare free for all. That promise has now become incompatible with the reality of austerity.
By 2020, the NHS will require an extra £30bn just to keep services at their present level. This strangulation of funds has seen the NHS Mental Health Trusts lose £253m, 2.3 per cent of their funding. These cuts translate into a dramatic loss of vital support for those with mental health conditions