28/09/18 U.K. to host Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit on World Mental Health Day

Are you taking the fucking piss? This is like the child catcher out of Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang chairing a summit on best child care practices.

This is the same Government who’ve reduced the number of beds in psychiatric hospitals by nearly 30% since the beginning of austerity.

….where we have 12% fewer mental health nurses than we had in 2009 with nearly 1700 vacancies in England alone.

….where we appear to be imprisoning our most vulnerable people instead of supporting them

‘Rates of self-inflicted deaths and self-harm in prison have risen significantly in the last five years, suggesting that mental health and well-being in prison has declined. Self-harm rose by 73% between 2012 and 2016. In 2016 there were 40,161 incidents of self-harm in prisons, the equivalent of one incident for every two prisoners. While in 2016 there were 120 self-inflicted deaths in prison, almost twice the number in 2012, and the highest year on record. Government needs to address the rising rates of suicide and self harm in prisons as a matter of urgency.’

Any claims of mental health improvements in prisons need to be taken with a massive pinch of salt according to the National Audit Office…

‘Government does not know how many people in prison have a mental illness, how much it is spending on mental health in prisons or whether it is achieving its objectives. It is therefore hard to see how Government can be achieving value for money in its efforts to improve the mental health and well being of prisoners’

While MP’s celebrate the gig economy, we know that zero hour contracts are bad for people’s health – especially their mental health…

This is having a particularly massive effect on our younger people. You know, the people we call ‘Snowflakes’. The same generation whose suicide rate has increased by 107% in London and 24% in the rest of England and Wales.

Where we’ve removed hopeful futures from our young people with spiralling student debts (around £60k for your average degree) and house prices exceeding 8 times the average salary.

Having already removed most of the safety net, the government has whipped away any hopes of a soft landing with its flagship – if your flagship is the fucking titanic – Universal (Bastard) Credit – benefit regime, where people have to wait 35 days for ANY payment – (try it – in the past, people on benefits had to choose between heating or eating – now they can do neither) with disability benefits that are particularly difficult for people with mental health problems to obtain…

Just in case you become complacent – the Department of Work and Pensions has its secret weapon – The Benefit Sanction – where people with mental health problems are hugely over represented – where you can have you benefits stopped for anything between 3 weeks and….drum roll…3 years for having the audacity to fail to complete a form correctly or for missing an appointment. The DWP already know these people often have massive difficulties in dealing with day to day stuff…because they’ve already received the War and Peace-esque application forms that explain peoples situations in minute detail.

Instead of getting in touch – the DWP display their care and compassion through the medium of stopping someone’s money for an unspecified time.

You don’t just have to take my word for it. A UN Panel has criticised the UK for it’s failure to uphold disabled people’s rights.

Unless the summit on world mental health day (10th of October…did I mention my belief that every day should be world mental health day?) involves our government declaring they’ve created an astonishingly comprehensive shitstorm for people with mental health problems in the U.K. and how they’re going to change things immediately, then a boycott across the board sounds like a rather splendid idea.

Walk a Mile

Chris

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