A while ago – I forget exactly when thanks to brain fog – I read a Tweet from someone in south London saying that in their local job center there’s a team of health professionals who are working with welfare claimants to ‘facilitate them into work.’
I must admit that when I read it, I thought it was a joke.
“You’re ‘aving a giraffe aren’t you?” Was the first thing that crossed my mind.
Then I clicked on the Tweet and into the article that was being circulated and discovered that – OMG – it was as far from a joke as you can possibly imagine.
It’s already happening in a part of south London called Streatham.
From what I understand, there’s a team of health professionals including psychologists who are going to practice Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, amongst other things, with welfare claimants who have minor or short term mental health issues, in order to facilitate them to rejoin the workforce.
My jaw swung open.
Then I opened up my email to discover the following 3 articles had been circulated via stewilko’s blog.
There was the Guardian article about how austerity and the not-so-subtle messages from the government are powerfully negative influences on mental health.
He’d also circulated a post on KittysJones’ blog about how the government’s policies are political gas lighting.
Gaslighting is a term I particularly like because the process of gaslighting is so utterly seductive. It’s a way that another person or persons manipulate your environment or thoughts with the end game of you disbelieving your version of reality.
The Psycho Social model of ME treatment is one very all too familiar example of gaslighting for people with CFS or ME 🙂
Then another very good post from KittysJones about institutional bullying. I think Ms Jones has a background in psychology so expertly she identifies these processes and calls the government to account about them.
There are so many nasty inferences that are being made by the government in rolling out this policy across the UK that I hardly know where to start.
But I will, by saying this:
Imagine that you are diagnosed with an illness such as anxiety or depression (A&D). This illness is so pervasive that it prevents you from seeking out or attending work. Your life is affected by this condition, you are struggling and you need appropriate care, compassion, help and support.
In order for you to be in a situation where you are prevented from working due to ill health, you must have a doctor signing you off as unfit to work.
You are probably in the same production line of work capability assessments and ESA, PIP or bumped off those into Job Seeker’s Allowance as people with CFS or ME are.
By the presence of this health care workforce at the local job shop and their remit to treat claimants, it says that nothing about your condition prior to their intervention is relevant.
The notion that your doctor / mental health nurse / psychologist / social worker / were so inaccurate in diagnosing your A&D and assessing the extent to which it affects your life and your potential to work is, I would think, insulting in multitudes of spades for the entire healthcare profession.
Then today I read this. It is an article arising from the Care Quality Commission’s report about mental health care that says that it is unacceptable and unsafe.
An unsafe mental healthcare system is already failing patients, who discover at the point of applying for welfare that they will be treated by a whole cohort of health care professionals – but only for one reason – not to aid them, to work with them on helping them with their condition, but to help them get them back to work.
Does anyone else here see some carts and horses and a few stable doors here? Because I do.
Like a giraffe, this government has a pattern.
Watch out that you don’t fall down the cracks…
© Lindy 2015