On Wednesday I’m going to Westminster with National Mind an the MP’s to their bring to the table event to discuss Mental Health Going Forward and what needs be done, theirs lots been highlighted about austerity, of postcode lottery, even the diagnosis lottery an conveyor belt. These issues are complex, challenging and have crippling impact to individuals affected by Mental Health. I’ve been asked to represent Yorkshire an Humber I will to an extent highlight my brother’s death and failings in his care. I have also spoke with my friends at Lighthouse Academy in Leeds an to my friends at Healthy Minds in Calderdale and I was alarmed at some of concerns raised and highlighted and that as much as we shout out for better mental health care we are so far from it.
Services are been closed without proper consultation to the service users that access and they’re unable be referred into alternative therapies as they don’t fit the recovery timescales, diagnosis to complex been told all has been to try help them and worst of all they’re now struggling find private alternatives because that one thing that made a difference has been took away.
For some accessing treatment and support and getting the foot in the door is hard specifically for rehab for overcoming addiction and I see regularly individuals, friends, little communities forming trying to support each other overcoming addiction and it breaks my heart to see them stumble because you know they are desperately trying following things like routine, keep busy, avoid temptation but the underlying issues not addressed, no support to detox, withdraw and overcome addiction and the space an Time and safe place to do and rehab is what would make all that difference but for some they are sadly overlooked, the waiting lists are too long that people are told waits of up to 2 years no point referring you in. Why then are their no alternatives why are we not demanding more specialised services why are we overlooking this vulnerable client group. Is it because they don’t deserve help, is it because society says they don’t fit just as services say we can’t help because we can’t fit you into a box. Austerity is penalising these individuals setting them up to fail be persecuted, isolated, attacked and further dehumanised and sadly why so many life’s are lost and in today’s society we should be holding up those most vulnerable.
People’s mental wellbeing is been impacted by austerity people know it’s good to volunteer, want to volunteer are told by professionals do it will aid your recovery and then they do volunteer and do little bits building themselves up, getting skills may not necessarily have an then bam DWP is taking them of benefits that awarded because of their conditions an impact has an been told well you can volunteer you can go on Job seekers or some universal credit been set up to fail not supported sanctioned if don’t apply for x amount of Jobs, write cvs do job searches and get x amount of interviews and many get passed up, employers won’t take on an so they get hit with sanction after sanction money stopped go without food, heating, hot water, basic provisions, spiral further into debt trying keep a roof over heads and the pressure of and lacking basic needs is detrimental to their health and we are turning our backs on them what are we doing to challenge the hardest hit be supported we’re are we fighting for their right to health equality not inequality.
One guy mentioned to me he wanted work volunteer be phased an supported in he’s not worked in a long time just finding his feet got placed on Job Seekers could I ask for more supported employment programmes I wished I could but sadly those services are few an far between an waiting lists get on are high so for him I pray he doesn’t stumble because of the dwp system setting people up to fail. DWP shouldn’t be allowed treat people in the inhumane way they are they are having a detrimental impact on health.
Mental Health is impacted by physical, housing, social, financial influences, influences that government need address especially if mental health support has a chance to change improve an save lives as part of the 5 year forward strategy on Wednesday when I take people’s voices to the table I’ll try ensure heard because I can’t sit back an watch the most vulnerable be forgot about anymore.