Health not wealth and the price of austerity.
April, we’re told, is the cruellest month, and April 2013 is the month that the welfare reforms kick in. For the last year, whenever we’ve asked people with mental health issues what most concerns them about the future, they’ve said benefit cuts. And across most of our work, especially Floating Support, Advocacy, Employment and Wellbeing services, it’s the number one issue our staff are in demand to help people with.
Anxiety levels are high. But people don’t just feel worried about how they’ll be affected, they’re also made to feel guilty about being claimants at all. Politicians and the media might just reflect on the genuine concerns being aired in last week’s New Scientist about whether protracted austerity will mean sacrificing the health of a generation, including its mental health as stress levels rise.
Meanwhile, for a good source of benefits advice for people with mental health issues, try our colleagues in Rethink.