Further to your coverage of the sad and wasteful death of David Clapson (‘No one should die penniless and alone’, G2, 4 August), today (9 August) marks the anniversary of the discovery of the emaciated body of Mark Wood, a vulnerable sufferer from severe mental health problems, in David Cameron’s Oxfordshire constituency. Mr Wood had been erroneously and incompetently declared fit for work by Atos (on behalf of the DWP) and the consequent cutting of benefits was a clear “accelerating factor” in his death by starvation. The architects of deaths like these remain in charge of the DWP. There have of course been other well-attested deaths-by-DWP and there will be more (especially among the vulnerable disabled), as current reforms roll out their panoply of delays, despair and effective victimisation across the country. The real human costs of sick government must never be forgotten.
• David Clapson’s death is a sad reflection on the impact of government policies. I was fortunate enough to be able to work from the age of 15 to 70, paying all due taxes. Should we really care if a few people manipulate the system, if it means that no one is unfairly penalised and slips below the safety net necessary to provide a reasonable standard of living? I am not religious, but I do think that this heartless government should consider “there, but for the grace of God, go I”.
Batley, West Yorkshire
• The harrowing comments on benefit sanctions (G2, 6 August) didn’t discuss the political basis for these punitive measures. People mostly vote on a tribal basis, for “our sort of people”. When people become afraid of falling into poverty they take comfort in the hope that it only happens to the “other sort of people” and vote Conservative as an act of faith. This is the same mechanism that unites a country under threat of war and persuades dirt-poor Americans to oppose Obamacare rather than admit to themselves that they might one day need it.
Driffield, East Yorkshire
• Shame on the Guardian for describing out-of-work benefit recipients as “the idle poor” (Report, 5 August). On the basis of what evidence do you write them off as idle? Are those caring for children or infirm relatives, volunteering in the community, actively seeking work or simply working hard just to get by on a low income idle? Language matters and it is the use of othering language such as this by the media and politicians that has contributed to the “draining away of public support” for social security.
Labour, House of Lords
What is Image Making?
Join our creative, fun and vibrant Graphics training department and discover your creative side
Please find attached details of our brand new Image Makingcourse taster session on July 24th. These courses are for people recovering from mental health problems and cost only £20 a session for people with a personal budget. The course proper begins July 29th and runs on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for 5 weeks. Students completing the Image Makingcourse at Blackfriars MHWBS have joined our Art2print social enterprise to get hands on work experience of being in a design team. Others have accessed full-time courses. It has helped nearly all to boost their confidence, “ It gave me inspiration to be creative and not to be afraid to try new things”.
Discover your creative side!
Service Coordinator Mental Health and Wellbeing Service
Blackfriars Settlement – “Creating Opportunities”
Find out more about our graphic design studio www.art2printstudio.co.uk
1 Rushworth Street, London SE1 0RB
Telephone: 020 7928 9521 Fax: 020 7960 4628
Find out more about what we can do for you:
Follow us on Twitter: @BlackfriarsSett
Like us on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/BFSface
Hope everyone is well! As usual our monthly communication -The Lambeth & Southwark wellbeing e-bulletin can be viewed at http://lambethwellbeing.wordpress.com/
This month has a range a goodies ! lots of free training like mental health first aid , wellbeing awards and specific info around issues of mental health.
Hope it is helpful!
Highlights of the e-bulletin see below:
- Why Mindfulness now : http://lambethwellbeing.wordpress.com/?p=739&preview=true
- Invite toJuly Lambeth and Southwark WellBeing Network Meetingon Lorrimore Square LondonSE173QU- Telefono de la Esperanza UK
Events & Training
MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID (MHFA):17 & 19 June The Garden Room Woodlawns Centre, 16 Leigham Court Road SW16 2PJ
MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID (MHFA): :15 & 16 July The Garden Room Woodlawns Centre, 16 Leigham Court Road SW16 2PJ
YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID (YMHFA):17 June & 18 June:Blackfriar’s Settlement Rushworth Street SE1 0RB
YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID (YMHFA) 8 & 10 July The Garden Room Woodlawns Centre, 16 Leigham Court Road SW16 2PJ
Please, for bookings email to Swan, Carolyn [Carolyn.Swan@slam.nhs.uk]
STORM -Suicide prevention Training:
1. Mon 21st & Tues 22nd July 2014 –
2. Mon 11th & Tues 12th Aug 2014
3. Tues 6th & Weds 7th Jan 2015
4. Mon 16th & Tues 17th Feb 2015
All course will be delivered at 160 Tooley Street, London SE1 2Q
Last but not least
- First Aid – opportunity to train to be an instructor!!!!!
Lambeth and Southwark Public Health directorate wish to increase capacity to deliver MHFA courses to the voluntary sector and direct to residents. We will pay for two instructors to be trained from the VCS in Lambeth and/or Southwark. You’ll learn how to teach people to recognise the symptoms of mental health problems, provide initial help and guide a person to professional help. See http://mhfaengland.org/instructor-training/instructor-standard/
To register your interest please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 020 7525 7530 to find out more.
Our the 2014 Award scheme,The Lambeth and Southwark -Wellbeing Network -Wellbeing Award Scheme has been extended till 31th July 2014.Please, complete and return the attached form on or before 31th July, 2014.Anamaria Florin, Telephone: 0207525-0272 – Anamaria.email@example.com
The London Community Foundation Grants Update
Applications for grants Small (up to £500) and Large (up to £2,000) for activities in Black History Month October 2014
We would like to encourage you that within your wellbeing work/ activities to measure wellbeing by using the short Warwick Edinburgh scale. Please, visit for details : http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Wellbeing-self-assessment.aspx
By the way, it may be helpful to have handy the working definiton of wellbeing is (locally agreed): ‘to feel positive about the present, feeling hopeful about the future; feeling confident about being able to handle life’s stresses and problems; and feeling that mostly life is fulfilled and rewarding’
Anamaria Florin, MRSH
Mental Wellbeing Officer
Lambeth and Southwark Public Health
People with disabilities should be paid less than the minimum wage, a Conservative MP suggested yesterday, prompting angry criticism from rights campaigners.
Philip Davies, the MP for Shipley, claimed the disabled or those with mental health problems were at a disadvantage because they could not offer to work for less money.
Relaxing the law would help some to compete more effectively for jobs in “the real world” in which they are “by definition” less productive than those without disabilities, he claimed.
The remarks stunned MPs on all sides and forced Downing Street to distance the Prime Minister from Mr Davies. Charities and equality campaigners condemned the suggestion as “outrageous”. During a Parliamentary debate, Mr Davies told MPs that the minimum wage of £5.93 per hour meant disabled people who wanted to work found the door being “closed in their face”.
“The people who are most disadvantaged by the national minimum wage are the most vulnerable in society,” he said. “My concern about it is it prevents those people from being given the opportunity to get the first rung on the employment ladder.”
Mr Davies appeared unrepentant, however, blaming criticism running on the Twitter microblogging website on “Left-wing hysteria”. He later told BBC Radio 4 that disabled people should be allowed to “prove themselves” before moving up the pay scale.
#RT via http://www.telegraph.co.uk
We don’t think it’s fair that people affected by mental illness can be legally discriminated against. Did you know that 1 in 4 of the population is prevented from serving on a jury, becoming a company director or an MP, just because they have known mental health problems? Now, we have a one-off chance to change this, but we can’t do it alone. The law is outdated and we need to change it to show that Britain won’t tolerate mental health discrimination. On 14 September 2012 Gavin Barwell MP will put forward a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament to amend this archaic legislation. But we need 100 votes from MPs for the Bill to be passed.
Help us get your MP to #backthebill by join our campaign now >http://bit.ly/SQ6pM1
#RT via Rethink Mental Illness
Time to Change
Would you, your colleagues or any parents you work with be interested in joining the (London base) Time to Change Parents Panel?
Time to Change is England’s biggest ever attempt to end the stigma and discrimination that people with mental health problems face. We want to expand our existing social movement to include children and young people. (for more information on Time to Change please see links below:
– Visit http://www.rethink.org/ & www.time-to-change.org.uk/
– Support the new campaign: www.rethink.org/ftn
– Join today!: www.rethink.org/join
– For publications, leaflets, DVDs and more visit: http://www.mentalhealthshop.org/
Parents who are passionate about challenging injustice are being sought to join the London based Panel, to help ensure that the work of Time to Change speaks to parents and families from all walks of life and experience. Parents are being sought to join this fantastic social movement to end stigma and discrimination on the grounds of mental illness.
if you have any questions or require further information please feel free to contact:
Youth Involvement Officer
Time to Change Team
Mob: 07971 675 368
Tel: 0207 840 3026
Address: Rethink (15th Floor) 89 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7TP