After experiencing mental health issues what can be more depressing than being left on the scrap heap living on benefits? There are mundane tasks to be done in charity shops which can sometimes be embarrassing depending on where you have worked before.
What would have worked is short-term work placement in companies with an understanding. This offering of meaningful labour would have given me my confidence back, and staved off further depression. Without access to services that can get you back into ‘meaningful’ employment you are left trying to apply for low-cost counselling and then stuck on a list for three months waiting for that to occur.
Of course I am talking from a poorer persons perspective. If you had reasonable savings or richer family member’s then you can pay to heal yourself quicker. But the burden on the NHS grows bigger, as not just poor people, but those with reasonable incomes are thrown onto the medical benefits playground, and are unable to get back into work.
With the government interested in saving costs just how much does it cost for all those pharmaceutical drugs? How much do all the benefits cost over the years?
Of course we have seen the response from the Conservatives, which is what happens when well-meaning people from richer backgrounds, with no understanding of poverty, attempt to help the poorest.
The problem is compounded further when the people at the front-line of the benefit system are offered rewards or bonuses for getting ‘them’ off their benefits.
The result is an uncaring individual makes no attempt to connect with the human being they are dealing with, and just gives them a list, and tells them to start calling anyone, and forces them into some low-pay, can’t afford the rent, heartless, meaningless job, just so they can claim their bonus.
Again, what would it cost to have the right people with the right intentions in the right places?
Unemployed people would be employed in good jobs and stay in them longer putting more money back into the economy.
Counselling services should be made available immediately creating less time off work, spending less money on expensive drugs, and less on benefits. It sounds like the intention is there. It’s just that the wrong people are in the wrong places. And people are dying needlessly.
It pains me when there are volunteering jobs offered to the unemployed to “get back into the workforce”–but no assurance of a paid work after that (from any company/organisation). What people need are paid jobs. Some job descriptions/specifications for volunteering posts even look like they’re for highly paid consultants–very exploitative. It is not right. It is not just. People don’t just live on gratitude–they need money to buy bread, milk, eggs, fruit….
more agreement, there are voluntary jobs but no bridging gap for those on mental health, other illnesses might provide full recovery but not MT
Need more advocacy (as if concerned citizens have not done enough yet!). And on the side of leaders–political will. Policies to promote positive discrimination have been used to actually discriminate. And you are right–a real strategy/action plan.
I would like to hope that there is full recovery for MH patients. There will be the vulnerability to slide back–but only if one allows it–it’s a power in itself. The power to look back, forward, beyond–the possibility of choices. A kind of insight that most people would not know, but you do–and to share it–with those who are on the same journey and those who are taking a different road. I am just presuming, I am not in a position to speak of things I have not experienced (although everyone would have had their lows in life). But maximum mental wellbeing is just part of a continuum–we all strive to stay there, but life jolts us away from it sometimes, but it’s always there. I wish you well.
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Mental Health=Mental Wealth. I wish the government would tap into this in a positive manner as its about getting people into meaningful labour and putting money back in the pot. Similar in Mike Leigh’s film a fellow from a right wing think tank said ‘kind of’ what he found painful were the errors laid out bare due to poor job management or mis-management. Empower the right people to help people into good work. phew lets become politicians : )
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LOL, many times I wish I were one 🙂
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