10 Responses

  1. Brilliant. xx

  2. Thanks for linking to that, fabulous and well-researched. Really hits the nail on the head…

  3. Brilliantly thorough piece of research!!!

  4. Yes. This.

  5. If people within the elite mental health networks created by NMHE and the mental health charities had shown some integrity in their dealings with the last Government we’d have been spared the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health’s claim that it was going to get ‘millions off benefits and into work ‘ which, with the help of David Freud and Lord Layard became official Government policy towards people with mental health problems, and Mind, Rethink and the Mental Health Foundation’s equally harmful ridiculous promotion of CBT as a magic bullet therapy.

    ESA was the tip of the Iceberg as in callaboration with the DWP and other Government Department’s the leading mental health charities and their proxies like Open Up and Time to Change readilly evangelised Work as Treatment and Cure .

    Getting quickly back to work may well be enough to stabilise many, and great when it is as work is important but all this behind the scenes manipulation allowed something else just as sinister and catastrophic as the general erosion of the Welfare State to take root under New Labour’s watch – it allowed some of the most able and capable mental health service users to work with self-serving charity businesses and crowd pleasing politicians to sow the seed in the public’s mind that we were all really just as capable as they were and just acting out as what official top down campaign after anti-stigma campaign stated was that severe mental illness is not a problem when it is.

    It’s probably too late to undo the damage done but it’s worth noting that the provider charities that still claim to represent us and the professional organisations that claim to evaluate them have now regrouped and renamed themselves the ‘Future Visions Coalition’ and have set out the future of their commercial mental health provision and their role as businesses or evaluators of it here <a href= http://fwd4.me/Wa8

    Many service users deeply involved with the core Coaltion member orgs had no idea this was coming.

    Welcome to the Future. Can I sell you something?

    • As someone involved in Open Up, I don’t think it was evangelised as a cure, indeed, we heavily criticised social “normality”. If you read my blog from, say, Jan, you know I have a problem with normalising mental illness, and acting like everything’s bladdy great, we’re all fine in the end, people don’t die, people don’t have shit lives and we all have giant kitchens.

      But in other ways, I agree with you. I don’t think it’s fair to speak of an elite- politically, maybe, not not within society. I don’t like the way that people who are recovering and who speak out are treated as an, “elite”, they’re people trying to get on with life. That’s all.

      This whole thing horrifies me; not the simple fact I’m going to be chucked onto JSA before i’m ready, but the social turn against the ill. It is disgusting.

  6. I’m not blaming people for getting ahead Seaneen , far from it, i fought for services to offer jobs to their service users long before it became fashionable to but in a myriad of ways and roles that people could cope with not just ‘user involvement ‘ positions which place people in a very awkward situation . Needless to say I wasnt much listened to.

    I also know you blogged about the likes of TTC airbrushing ordinary – lets face it – working class patients out of the equation , most of us noticed. Didn’t change minds within TTC though as they still went ahead with the ‘What’s Wrong with Eric?’ vid and seem to have scuttled off to their remote bunker to discuss how stigmatising we all must be for not shunting Eric up the Twitter trending curve to usurp the Chilean Mine Rescue as if it couldn’t possibly have been anything to do with them! Maybe you can work that into the act, a list of about thirty fucking things wrong with Eric…

    Not as a person obviously…

    But Open Up are pushing evangelical Recovery , they always have done Seaneen and you are the exception not the rule, people who swing towards instability don’t often get picked up by these outfits which to loop back, is why I argued that people needed to be offered jobs within services and public sector as gardeners, cooks, doormen, nurses etc as well as high status self-important bureaucratic roles.

    Some people with MH issues will relapse again, and again and again. They are my type of people and they have been most dreadfully let down by the greedy charities ,cheap quick fix New Labour with their fixed and final notions of Recovery and now they , all of us really , face the Tory continuation and fucked up public backlash as well. It is horrible and unavoidable now , I wish it wasn’t but read tonight that Freud is going to be poring over claimants purchasing details and spending patterns. We live in a transparent society now and all the scrutiny and accountability is downwards.

    Good luck , brave face.

  7. Have read the linked article and I want to make a documentary about the ATOS evaluations.

    Where to begin?

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