Mental Health, The News & Policies.

Cameron’s office calls police on Bishop trying to deliver letter on poverty (not satire!)

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Originally posted on Pride's Purge:

(not satire – it’s David Cameron)

Amazingly, David Cameron’s constituency office in Witney called the police when the Bishop of Oxford tried to hand in a letter about food poverty signed by church figures.

Anglican priest the Reverend Keith Hebden - who accompanied the Bishop on his visit to Cameron’s office – had this to say about the encounter:

Summoning the police like that illustrates the sense of panic in this government about rising food poverty levels because they are in such denial about this problem.”

Here’s the full story from Al Jazeera:

UK row over Christian values and food poverty

This happened last week. So why has this not been reported in the UK media, I wonder?

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Big thanks to Richard Bowyer for the heads up on this.

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Related articles by Tom Pride:

Cameron’s morality resigns after being declared bankrupt

Scientists Claim Tiny Sub-Atomic Traces of Ethics Discovered in Barclays

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#Antidepressants: Papering over the cracks of a fractured society or a fractured #mentalhealth service?

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Use of antidepressant drugs has become more common than ever before. Perhaps it’s time that we looked at the wider causes of this trend

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/apr/13/antidepressants-paper-over-cracks-fractured-society-prozac

 

Real Issues with Welfare reform – Part II

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Originally posted on jaynelinney:

On April 8 I wrote my first official DEAEP Blog, regarding the support we offer, this week Alex & I attended his Tribunal. we arrived at the venue, in a central hotel, to find the tribunal receptionist was extremely chatty; he happily informed the room that there were people from all over the UK, booked to attend, he went on to state every one of the claimants had waited for well over a year to get a hearing! He also informed us that for the day the Tribunal service had paid for 6 meeting rooms –  for hearings, waiting rooms and a room for the court clerks; add the expense for this to the salaries of at least 6 panellists (possibly 8), 3 clerks and the receptionist; and I shudder to think how much this must have cost?!

We were called in on time and given that the DWP had already agreed that Alex should be in the Support…

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Britain’s starvation crisis won’t bother our new millionaires at all

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Originally posted on Vox Political:

Britain's shame: The front page of yesterday's Daily Mirror.
Britain’s shame: The front page of yesterday’s Daily Mirror.

So the United Kingdom now houses more millionaires than ever before – but at the huge cost of forcing hundreds of thousands of people to seek help from food banks or starve.

This is David Cameron’s gamble: That enough people will profit from the misery of the huge underclass he has created to vote him back into office in 2015, to continue his attack on anybody who takes home less than £100,000 pay per year.

Are you really that selfish?

Do you think this is any way for a civilised, First-World society to order itself?

No – it’s more like the description of the Third World that became prevalent towards the end of the 1960s: A country with low economic development, low life expectancy, high rates of poverty, and rampant disease. They are also countries where a wealthy ruling class is…

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Cast your nominations for the #MindAwards 2014

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Originally posted on The Not So Big Society:

Today the categories were announced for the Mind Media Awards , and you can nominate your favourite mental health voices to win.

Although most nominations cost £165 per nomination, there is no charge to nominate for the journalist, student journalist or blogger categories.

The blogger category seems to be replacing what was previously known as the Mark Hanson Award for Digital Media. In many ways I think that’s a shame, because there’s a lot of good stuff being done on other forms of social media (e.g. vlogs, Twitter) to talk about mental health. Then again, the winners from the last three years have all been blogs. In 2011, it was won by Confessions of a Serial Insomniac for her account of recovery from child sexual abuse and borderline personality disorder. In 2012 Mental Health Cop received the award for his detailed analyses of the intersection between policing and mental health. Purple…

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Easter Play Schemes For Disabled Children Axed Due To Cuts

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Originally posted on Same Difference:

This Easter, children with disabilities are struggling to gain access to play services as funding for short breaks continues to be cut. Short breaks provide respite care for families and carers of children with disabilities, but since 2010 the money allocated for them by local authorities has been greatly reduced.

Lastest government figures show that funding fell by 6% in the last financial year across England. In 2011-12, 63% of English local authorities reduced their expenditure, a Mencap report found.

“Since our 2013 report, we have seen even more councils cut short breaks services locally,” says Dan Scorer, the head of policy and public affairs at Mencap. “Despite the government recognising the need for these vital services, family carers are still being left isolated, exhausted and at breaking point. This is because they care – sometimes 24 hours a day, seven days a week – without a break.”

“The government…

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DWP Block Report To Cover Up Work Programme Shambles

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Originally posted on the void:

IDS-slug The DWP are refusing to release an evaluation of the floundering £6 billion pound Work Programme despite the report having recently featured on Channel 4 news.

The evaluation is believed to be critical of the Work Programme and in particular benefit sanctions, warning that they found: “no conclusive evidence that sanctions were changing job search behaviour or increasing job entry rates.”

A Freedom of Information request asking to see the report has today been refused by the DWP on the grounds that they plan to publish it at an unspecified later date (PDF).  The evaluation was scheduled to be released in the Summer of last year.

This is not the first time the DWP have treated Freedom of Information (FOI) rules with contempt in a shoddy effort to conceal what’s really going on, and wrong, with the department.  A ruling by the Information Commissioner;s Office (ICO) ordering the release…

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Unexpected knowledge – Things I’ve learned since being sectioned

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Originally posted on Sectioned:

Unexpected

Since starting to have mental health problems and then being sectioned, I’ve learned about things I never imagined existed or would need to know about.

  • I’ve learned that being taken to hospital by police counts as an arrest that could show up on checks done for prospective employers.
  • I’ve learned what it’s like living in homeless hostels from people who are living there now; and that (if I’m lucky and can persuade the council to put a roof over my head) that’s where I could end up this year.
  • I’ve learned about the Work Capability Assessment and Atos & that, even if your doctor’s certificate is for mental health, you’ll still be asked to touch your toes.
  • I’ve learned that mental health problems are often treated with purely physical means, and that merely keeping someone alive is seen as success enough.
  • I’ve learned that getting treatment for mental health problems…

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East Midlands Self-Harm, Suicide Prevention And PostVention Conference

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Originally posted on Far be it from me -:

East Midlands
Self-harm, Suicide Prevention
& Postvention Conference
Friday 13th June 2014,
Jubilee Campus Nottingham University
“Could anything have been done to make a difference?” This is
not an uncommon question from those bereaved by suicide or
indeed from carers and relatives of someone who has selfharmed.
In partnership the East Midlands Self-harm and Suicide
Prevention Research Network (EM-SRN), Institute of Mental
Health/University of Nottingham Managed Innovation Network
(MIN) for School Age Suicide & Self Harm, the East Midlands
CLAHRC study E-DASH, Harmless, Samaritans and Derbyshire
Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust are hosting a conference to
explore on-going clinical experiences and research within our
region around the areas of self-harm, suicide prevention and
bereavement by suicide.
Attendance costs £27.50 (includes refreshments & buffet lunch).

If you are
interested in attending, please register at:

http://surveys.derbyshcft.nhs.uk/s/EastMidlandsSHSPSBConference2014

For any further information, please contact Jenny Ness at:
jennifer.ness@derbyshcft.nhs.uk or on 01332 623700 ext. 33681

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BREAKING #SUICIDE NEWS

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Originally posted on midnightdemons7:

Just got word from Twitter that the American Association of Suicidology just approved, unanimously, a new division for suicide attempt survivors and people with lived experiences. This is so exciting, I just had to blog about it. People who have attempted or who have seriously thought about suicide now have a voice. I am so excited and proud to be a member and contributor of their blog and organization!!

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Personal independence payments are a punishment of the poor and ill

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Originally posted on Benefit tales:

PIP should be a national scandal: Iain Duncan Smith’s new system already has a huge backlog and people are dying waiting

She calls it: “Heartbreaking, truly astonishing, I’ve never seen anything like this.” Emma Cross is a senior Macmillan Cancer Support benefits adviser, and she says delays in Iain Duncan Smith’s new personal independence payments (PIP) leave the sick utterly destitute. “Does anyone know how many people are struggling?”

Macmillan’s mountain of PIP cases includes a mother being treated with chemotherapy for bowel cancer, whose operation left her with a colostomy bag. She gave up work and, with no other family to help, her husband gave up his job to care for her and their two-year-old child, taking her to frequent hospital appointments. They claimed PIP last September – and they have heard nothing since. No-one answers queries, lost in the gigantic backlog.

Until registered for PIP, which pays from…

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Don’t blame Me for your mess, Dave: Jesus denies all involvement in Cameron’s Big Society

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Originally posted on The Evening Harold:

rsz_money-changers
A younger, bearded David Cameron standing up to the bankers. Or it’s Jesus being tremendous, we forget which.

In a speech that had many wondering if it was somehow still April 1st David Cameron claimed that he is doing the Lord’s work. Something which Jesus strenuously denies.

In his speech Cameron said: “Jesus invented the Big Society 2,000 years ago. I just want to see more of it.”

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McVey and her underground TAX

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Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

How many times dear reader have you heard Esther McVey say the bedroom tax is NOT A TAX.  TAX IS WHAT YOU PAY ON INCOME IT IS NOT A TAX IT IS A SPARE ROOM SUBSIDY.  Yes that would be the same McVey in whose constituency we find that 94% of all new HB claims since the election have come from private tenants who get £3.2m more each year in LHA than social tenants would get in HB (Now that is what a real subsidy is!)

ITISNOTATAXITISNOTATAXITISNOTATAXITISNOTATAXITISNOTATAXITISNOTATAX – ok you get the picture.

In fact you should really get the picture below!!

You may well know that McVey is the MP for Wirral West which is separated from Liverpool by two road tunnels for which you have to pay a toll.  The tunnel toll is supposedly going up again and so today at a protest we see McVey holding up…

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Tories announce tough new regime of 30-second half-hearted apologies for serious crimes

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Originally posted on Pride's Purge:

(satire?)

In the lead-up to the next election, the Tories have vowed to clamp-down on crime in a new criminal justice bill which will introduce tough new penalties and punishments including half-hearted 30-second apologies in public for serious crimes such as theft and fraud.

The new criminal justice and courts bill published by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling on Wednesday, contains a range of punitive measures to reform sentencing, ranging from grudging, insincere 10-second lame excuses for less serious offences to tough 30-second superficial apologies for repeat offenders.

The tough new measures include:

  • lacklustre 10-second confessions for kidnapping of public funds
  • perfunctory 15-second expressions of regret for daylight robbery of voters
  • tepid 20-second lame excuses for burglary of taxpayers
  • apathetic 30-second atonements for fraudulent expenses claims

The punitive tone of the bill comes just days after Tory culture secretary Maria Miller courted controversy by suggesting in the House of Commons that no mercy should be shown to repeat offenders…

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Benefits in Britain: Separating the facts from the fiction

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Originally posted on Bournemouth & Poole Anti-Cuts Coalition:

Fiction: Welfare reforms are just about benefit cuts
Fact: Simply not true. The attack on our welfare state is hitting a whole range of services – privatising the NHS, winding up legal aid for people in debt and closing SureStart centres and libraries. All this will make life poorer for every community.
Fiction: There are families living on benefits where generations have never worked
Fact: Despite research from various organisations, no evidence has been found of families with three generations which had never worked. Less than 1% of families have two such generations which have never worked, although such families had wide ranging problems which made it both difficult for the parents or the children to find employment. Contrary to government claims about endemic worklessness, four in five people who claim JSA come off the benefit within six months.
Fiction: People believe that some 27% of the Welfare Budget is…

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Yashika, UKIP and us….

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Originally posted on Paul Bernal's Blog:

It was sadly poignant that the same day that Yashika Bageerathi was deported, UKIP leader Nigel Farage was trouncing Nick Clegg in a televised debate. The two things may seem unconnected – but they’re not, they’re intrinsically linked. Xenophobia rules the roost in the UK right now. The deportation of Yashika – and the death, just two days earlier, of Christine Case, in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre – may look like tragic, individual events but they’re not. They’re what a ‘tough’ immigration policy looks like. Yashika’s case has been highlighted as particularly cruel, but to imagine that it is unique is naïve to say the least. All the hand-wringing over Yashika, important though her case is, misses the point to a great extent. We’ve build this system. These are the consequences.

Pressure has rightly been put on Theresa May and James Brokenshire over Yashika – because they could potentially have…

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Housing Crisis, What Housing Crisis? Says Homelessness Charity Boss Jeremy Swain

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Originally posted on the void:

killing-with-kindness An astonishing post from the boss of one of London’s largest housing charities shows how those paid a small fortune to represent homeless people are completely out of touch with the reality that their so-called ‘service users’ face.

Jeremy Swain is the boss of Thames Reach, one of the largest providers of emergency and temporary accommodation for single homeless people in London and the South East.  Recently he attended a meeting with Unemployment Minister Esther McVey, along with other highly paid charity chief executives and civil servants.

In his write up of this cosy affair you might have thought that the boss of a charity which works with the homeless people would tear into the Minister about the bedroom tax, the benefit cap or the current brutal benefit sanctioning regime. Possibly he might have mentioned that Boris Johnson’s housing strategy for London contains virtually no provision for desperately needed social…

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Butterfly Project

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Originally posted on scarredgirl13's Blog:

Hello guys! 

I’m writing a book about mental health. It’s a fictional book for people, that has self-help ideas in there. You are following a girls journey through therapy, and the idea is that you can take away tips and techniques her therapist gives her to help her cope.

The first issues she deals with, is something I have dealt with myself – Self Harm. I have struggled with this since I was about 13/14 years old. This time around, I came across the Butterfly Project online, and it helped me a lot. 

I came up with the idea that, in my book, I post real pictures of people’s Butterflies, so that the reader gets a real understanding of what to do, from the pictures. 

So, I’m asking ya’ll to send me your Butterfly Project butterflies which I can put in my book. I will put your name by the…

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Michael Meacher’s Speech on Benefit Sanctions

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Originally posted on alittleecon:

There was a backbench debate in the House of Commons today on the DWP’s use of benefit sanctions. The official line is that claimants are only ever sanctioned if they are not doing what is required of them to either find work or prepare for work. The strong suspicion however is that sanctions are being used primarily to get people off benefits. Labour MP Michael Meacher opened the debate with a speech in which he gave numerous examples of where claimants have been sanctioned through no fault of their own, and highlighted the impact this can have on people’s lives. Here is the text of the first part of his speech (from Hansard ):

“I beg to move,

That this House notes that there have been many cases of sanctions being wrongfully applied to benefit recipients; and call on the Government to review the targeting, severity and impact of such sanctions…

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Salvation Army And Workfare

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Originally posted on Same Difference:

Spotted on Facebook. Quite shocking. Please share widely.

Did you know that as a company that is part of the governments work program, the Salvation Army have the right to dish out sanctions to your anyone who has been referred to them by JobCenterPlus who doesn't follow the strict rules. Benefit sanctions can be given out to people for being late, missing appointments, or not carrying out instructions to the letter. </p><br /><br />
<p>The charity that is supposed to help people who have fallen on hard times is now forcing some of those same people in to poverty.

Did you know that as a company that is part of the governments work program, the Salvation Army have the right to dish out sanctions to your anyone who has been referred to them by JobCenterPlus who doesn’t follow the strict rules. Benefit sanctions can be given out to people for being late, missing appointments, or not carrying out instructions to the letter.

The charity that is supposed to help people who have fallen on hard times is now forcing some of those same people in to poverty.

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When the Night speaks

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Originally posted on Busy Mind Thinking:

It is a gentle whisper
When the Night
It speaks with me

Curious about my day
He longs to ask
You see

Did you accomplish anything?
Are you happy with how it went?
Did you spend your time wisely?
Or are you sad now that it’s spent?

He hugs me when I’m happy.
And comforts when I’m sad.
He is the voice of reason.
Greatest listener I’ve ever had.

He will offer no quick fixes.
Knowing I just need to be heard.
So he listens with his heart.
And voices not a word.

I often cry out to him.
With my pillow he wipes my tears.
He teaches me about strength.
And with courage he fights my fears.

The Night is my companion.
Providing inspiration for the morrow.
Reminding me darkness gives way to light.
And no life should be lived in sorrow.

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Exeter counselling “cult” condemns British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy

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Quinonostante:

Astounding

Originally posted on The Not So Big Society:

The story so far…in February an Exeter-based counselling service, Palace Gate Counselling (also trading as Phoenix Counselling) took the unusual step of publishing a lengthy blog post, “The Conflict” . They stated that two other therapists have accused them of running a “therapeutic cult” (which they strongly deny) and that they were close to a disciplinary hearing against their firm. They didn’t state in “The Conflict” who the hearing was with, but it was clear from elsewhere on their blog that it was with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Today, Palace Gate have published a follow-up post, “Our Service, the BACP and the regulation debate”. As with the original post, it’s rather lengthy, but I’ll attempt to summarise it here:

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The struck-off therapist teaching psychotherapy – Regent’s University’s horrifying response

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Originally posted on The Not So Big Society:

Last week I commented that a psychotherapist who has been struck off by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy was still lecturing in psychotherapy at Regent’s University London. Andrea Scherzer had turned up to a therapy session drunk, leading not only to her striking-off but also dismissal for gross misconduct from an NHS trust. I didn’t get a response from Regent’s prior to publication, but they did promise they’d send me one today.

I’ve now had their response, and it’s….not what I expected. Actually it’s quite spectacularly jaw-dropping. I’ll quote it in full, interspersed with commentary from me.

A meeting was held today involving John Nuttall the Head of Regent’s School of Psychotherapy and Psychology, an HR representative and myself from which I now have the following statement:

As Andrea Scherzer was not an accredited member, the BACP have the right to suspend membership but do not have authority…

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