The Labour Campaign for Mental Health held an event in Westminster last week (invite panel pictured), we engaged with them on Twitter about better representation in the future and they listened and asked us to write with further information. So we crowdsourced what people wanted the Labour Party and the LCMH to hear:
Social Security and the DWP
Suicide attempt rates have risen directly due to the benefit system.
If they plan on scrapping the WCA, what is their plan? If they aren’t planning on scrapping it why not?
PIP & ESA remains abusive and discriminates against Mental Health issues.
Benefits are now the uppermost thing on a lot of people’s minds. I don’t think people in mental distress should be forced to be part of the precariat, not that anyone should be.
Really, we need to hear from Service Users who are also benefit claimants.
Impact of DWP paranoia on Mental Health.
That those of us who can’t ‘recover’ due to adversity, trauma, lack of mh services etc should not be expected or forced to work
Wish of many with Mental Health issues to do voluntary work without fear they will be forced into work.
Or to not do voluntary work, or to do work, or to not do work…it’s about choice for me…people always know what’s best for them, but never get asked or if they do, their opinion is invalidated in some way
Take seriously the impact of welfare ‘reform’ on mental health – this is something they can actually do something about
Labour need to own up to the fact that the open season on benefits claimants was ushered in by rhetoric and tv advertising campaigns about benefits fraud under last Labour govt. I’m a Labour member cos they’re better than the Tories but not sure I can bring myself to get excited or actively involved without that being acknowledged.
Take responsibility and use their power over popular opinion to reverse this http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/public-opinion-towards-welfare/
Right to long-term support with or without recovery for independent living, removal of sanctions, upholding remaining indefinite awards and reinstating. Benefits and the havoc and disability they are causing, the value of chosen voluntary work as an additional outcome, decent housing.
The negative impact of Universal Credit and the need to Stop and Scrap it and co-produce a new Social Security system integrated with Social Care and Healthcare . The DWP serves no useful function other than operating a shadow penal system punishing us & shortening our lives.
Supporting Independent & Inclusive Living
Use the Social model, and basic values of choice, control, respecting individuality, personalisation, flexibility…some services would be good, with no blanket expectations of “recovery” or anything else for that matter.
Independent living based on long term support, not constant pressure to not need services, and that costs driven idea being hidden by laying blame on us for not recovering and being resilient.
I often compare my “services” re physical health/disability to mental health and just don’t understand why I constantly have to prove my longer-term MH needs in comparison to physical health, which is never questioned in the same way. Why the hell don’t they get that with MH? I don’t understand…
The fact that many people with MH conditions do not recover and need on-going support to maintain any quality of life
Healthcare & Mental Health Act
The government is no longer legally responsible for providing healthcare. If sectioning is abolished there will be no duty to provide care. I do not support sectioning but this is an issue. Labour needs to reinstate government responsibility for providing healthcare.
Stop funnelling money into primary care, short-term IAPT intervention. Prevention applies to everyone – crisis prevention, prevention of iatrogenic harm, availability of long-term health AND social care, benefits and housing.
A crisis house in every borough following a needs-led and/or ‘social model’ would be most helpful…and for Mind to consider having ‘drop ins’ or ‘pop ins’ perhaps for 2 hours a day without any agenda or structured activities so to speak…and, crucially, for every borough to have somewhere, too, for elderly people to go.
That seclusion rooms are -mostly if not all – replaced by sensory rooms.
Recognise that putting a person into an even greater sense of fright at the point of admission to a psych hospital will exacerbate things -traumatise a person, even, into dissociation – not exaggerating, just stating facts …Put a pillow and bedding in the 136 suites and seclusion rooms – don’t just leave a person in there afraid and alone for hours and hours…and NEVER take away a person’s clothes either ! Also, the police are being used too readily by Home Treatment Team’s to check on a person’s well being
ALWAYS ignore prejudicial notes which seek to depict a person as ‘aggressive’ – especially BAME folk.
Mental health services to be run democratically. we need a new relational politics of mental health. This needs to be worked out collectively using deliberative, inclusive processes. The end result will likely indicate that we need more and better services, and these have to be much more plural. That is, a range of alternative approaches. This democratic dialogue needs to tackle the limits of compulsion and coercion, leading to contemplation of what consensual care services would look like.
Better Democratic Engagement With The Grassroots & Service Users
INVOLVE us – invite us to these things even if we are not an ‘author’.
Know the difference between a medical model and a social model of Mental Distress & Disability and embrace Independent living and unrecovery.
It is important that self identified service users representing others from grassroots orgs are there, having panellists who do not publicity identify as service users but are to fill a check box, actually don’t because it keeps MH in the closet. If your panel cannot handle an out and proud loony, it is a failure.
The New Savoy network is elitist and paternalistic, it does not fit 21st century challenges.
Rights not Charity, so enough of charities leading the conversation. Stop listening to charities and not seeing there is a conflict of interest!
For Mind to re-evaluate its services and ethos…perhaps consider having conferences again, too – if not annually then every other year…and to open their doors.
We should be speakers at their meetings. They should be listeners at ours.
A teach out but with Labour MPs in the room rather than students.
Please see this just competed work, two and half years in the making: Kindred Minds, BME Service User Led Manifesto https://recoveryinthebin.org/2018/03/02/kindred-minds-bme-service-user-led-manifesto/