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The impact of ESA reform on people with mental health problems!

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posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 08:49 AM
As British people will know the welfare system in UK is being completely over hauled and Employment and Support Allowance paid to people who are sick has been affected just this week by new claimants now getting £70 plus pounds a week the same as unemployment.

As well as this there has been a push to get long term sick back to work regardless of whether they are fit or not. The present system isflawed in so many ways and the process seems to look at physical illnesses more than mental health.

It is a shame the Government cant see the impact some of these changes are having on people. My ex partner (my child's father) is one such person who is presently being affected and whom I am really concerned about.

Michael has paranoid schizophrenia and was diagnosed when he wad 17, he will be 50 this year. I have known Michael since I was 5 and saw him go from a happy, outgoing child to a very introverted and strange teenager. There were rumours at Secondary School he had a breakdown.

I banged back into Michael when I was 35 in a darkened nightclub. After agreeing to a date with this lovely man with beautiful blue eyes it wasnt until we got outside I realised who he was. As my sister also has mental health problems I decided to still go on date and when I did it was like going home, after being a party animal most of my life he was security and what I wanted at that time.

We moved in together and had 3 happy years, we then had IVF and were both overjoyed to have a son at 40. 10 days after my son was born Michael's dad died suddenly and then Michael had a breakdown and we split. Since then his mother has died and over the years his delusions and paranoia have mainly been directed at me.

He has also started to have a rocky relationship with our child who isnow 8 and loves him but knowd something is not right.

Anyway after years of being on DLA and ESA a couple of weeks ago he was called for an interview to test for fitness for work and he received a letter Monday telling him he had been removed from support group with an award for life and is now fit for work so will have to apply for Jobseekers Allowance. Reasons because he plays guitar and has done an art course both for therapeutic reasons.

All week his behaviour has been erratic and he hasnt slept since Monday. He has rang me 10 times today (is hateful with me but always comes to me when he needs help! and rather like a brother/sister relationship I forgive and help)) Final conversation was if he had a gun he would shoot himself and he was in tears).

30 minutes ago I dropped him at A & E to see psychiatrist.

So this is someone who the Government think they are helping. How they can say he is fit for work God knows. He is medicated and has a great insight into his illness so knows when he is becoming ill. At these times he withdraws and doesnt sleep or eat. He copes with his illness but things such as this he is unable to cope with.

There are many like Michael who are just having their money stopped with no real prospects of finding work and now if he is sectioned there will be no beds or money to help. Its just madness,

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 08:58 AM
He definitely does need help and I really feel for him and others like him.
After reading your post though my number 1 worry and concern would be for your safety.
You need to be very, very careful because I've read stories like this before and sometimes they don't end well.
Not trying to scare you or put a downer on it all but you need to protect yourself and your son.

I watched Dear Zachary a while back and thought of it while reading your OP.
Be concerned and get Michael help by all means but be very careful of your own safety and the safety of your son.

Good luck.

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 08:59 AM
a reply to: anxiouswens

And here we have a perfect example of why everyone who voted for this shower of bastards that we call a government, needs to take a long hard look at their priorities.

Whoever voted Tory last time around, voted for a government who would rather victimise at risk people, than dig out the cancer of corruption and mismanagement in their own ranks, and in the various government departments and private companies attached thereto by contract. They voted for a government who would prefer to hoodwink the population into believing that their every ill is caused by external factors, or benefit fraudsters, rather than systemic and entrenched, industrial level fraud at the top.

Whoever voted conservative last time around, this is essentially, their doing and they should be bloody ashamed of themselves, because they always pull this nonsense or something like it the moment they get the slightest whiff of power.

Get these people out of our government, get them out of our lives, and keep them out by never, EVER voting blue again as long as you live. That is the only way to avoid this sort of abuse of the weak and defenceless.

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 09:02 AM
a reply to: anxiouswens

Wat a tragedy, so sorry for the dilemma.

Sounds like a Catch 22 situation… he's probably more fit for work when he's on meds but they are going to deny him funds for meds so then he can't work.

Their justification isn't honest…

Reasons because he plays guitar and has done an art course both for therapeutic reasons.

What they really need is more money to wage endless war so they are cutting back on social programs. Here in the states, too.

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 09:09 AM
Thanks for your concern and I hear you but I can honestly say Michael has never frightened me. As far as our son goes Michael knows when he is ill and doesnt see him or, I can tell and dont take David.

If I'm perfectly honest I dont think he has schizophrenia he is more like manic depressive/bi polar. These days they wouldnt label him as easily.

When I trained to be a Counsellor some years ago we learned on the course most people with serious mmental health problems are a danger to themselves rather than someone else. The media portray the image of the mad schizophrenic. As Michael sats it drives him round the bend when he sees titles like "mad schizophrenic murders ex partner" like he says why mention schizophrenia as the main point when there are many cases of murder and domestic violence where someone doesnt have an illness, so who is to know whether the schizophrenia has played a part or whether the crime would have happened whether or not.

I would say Michael is more frightened of me as I do have a frightening tempet. He knows he would come worst off if he attempted any violence with me or God forbid our son lol a reply to: stargatetravels

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 09:16 AM
I will be very surprised if they get in again BUT I didnt think they had a cat in hells chance this time other than a coalition but they managed it! I honestly dont know anyone who voted for them.

Anyway on the funny side its a good job we dont have guns in this Country because besides himself Michael also mentioned he would like to do serious damage to David Cameron. I think he would be at the back of a long line of people lola reply to: TrueBrit

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 09:18 AM
a reply to: anxiouswens

Indeed, the phrase "You are British, therefore you know how to queue, correct?", comes to mind!

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 09:25 AM
Anyone meeting Michael wouldnt know he had that illness. As many have commented to me he is like the complete opposite of what people envisage. He is very kind (too kind), caring etc. My sister says he would have made a good Buddhist monk. Michael would like the world living in peace and Utopia!

However, I know the other person who can be hateful and angry when he is paranoid and delusional. Before we had our child I have spent many sleepless nights talking to him and many days trying to get him back into a routine with sleep etc.

The extra money he has lost is supposed to be there to take some of the stress away such as money worries when people dont feel fit for work. If he was working he would be off all the time when he hasnt slept for nights on end. He would also be really paranoid at these times. He has just stopped an art degree course back in October because he had fallen behind and because he thought people were talking about him.a reply to: intrptr

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 10:55 AM
This scares me.

Not only do patients have to travel half way across the country for under performing treatment, they are now being forced into situations which exacerbate their mental differences. It's ignorance all round.

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 11:45 AM
And worst all all they have just stopped the ESA and he has to apply for JSA ie they dont help with that transition. He hadnt realised that so now doesnt know when he will next get any money.

I asked him to get medical report from assessment and it is a general nurse who has assessed him. They are supposed to have an assessment preferably with a psychiatrist but at worst with a psychiatruc nurse. The nurse who has assessed him obviously doesnt know the first thing about mental health problems. The standard form asks if the person is rocking, the fact he wasnt rocking apparently shows he doesnt have anxiety problems and the fact he shops at Tescos shows he has a normal life!! Michael has said to me before how can you possibly explain to someone that every time you go to Tescos you feel like people can read your thoughts and that people are laughing and talking about you but you still have to do it so you can eat!a reply to: and14263

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 12:02 PM
a reply to: anxiouswens
I've seen that too. Tick box assessments by people not trained to understand what a mental illness is. If you're not talking to yourself or seeing things then you're not ill in the eyes of many medical professionals. That's just the start of it. I've complained to a board of directors who openly admitted nothing will change.

I hope he can get reassessed. On a positive note those professionals who are good are well aware of the situation, if he gets in front of one of those he'll be ok... but unfortunately they are few and far between.

I hate to be negative about all this but change within the NHS and benefits system takes so long it'll be decades before anything gets better... If it ever does.

I wish you both well.
edit on 10-3-2016 by and14263 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 12:04 PM
a reply to: anxiouswens

However, I know the other person who can be hateful and angry when he is paranoid and delusional.

You know and understand him. Others in the workplace may not. Its an all day thing, very stressful, first sign of any aberration others will become fearful, especially in this day and age.

I must say very honorable and commendable the way you understand and love him. Better than any meds…

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 01:35 PM
a reply to: anxiouswens

I understand what your saying... but truth be told, the best thing for him would be to gain meaningful employment.

Of course, there is obviously the very real possibility of a job burning him out and making his illness worse, but that's just life... he needs to find a productive purpose in life, otherwise what's his point in life?

I say this as a person who has spent many years not working due to manic depression/bi-polar and have personally burnt myself out from working to the point where I've convinced myself people were trying to kill me, lol... you just got to rest it off, then get back up and try again.

So I'm fully supportive of the government taking mentally ill people off sickness benefits and putting them on employment benefits... its the best thing for them, in the long term.

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