The Mental Health Group at CarerWatch launch a campaign to get Mr Purnell to change his proposed welfare reforms to provide a supportive system to help those people diagnosed with enduring severe mental illness.

Nobody diagnosed with enduring severe mental illness should be subject to ‘conditionality’. Conditionality is another name for institutional bullying. Mr Purnell may think this is appropriate for many people but the CarerWatch Mental Health Group say it is not appropriate or acceptable for the severely mentally ill.   

It’s a mystery why ‘health professionals’ at the Department of Works and Pensions are going to be second guessing the diagnoses already made by the doctors and psychiatrists in the NHS.

Sick people have to attend for interview and try and get the diagnosis given to them by the doctors in the NHS accepted by officials at the Job Centre. Why?

It takes months and lots of tests to get the diagnosis and this process can’t be replicated at the Job Centre. If the diagnosis is wrong then presumably the treatment is wrong and there is a lot more to worry about than getting a job.

If the Department of Works and Pensions is concerned that the NHS isn’t correctly diagnosing illness then it’s very plucky but a touch misguided to set up alternative diagnostic systems at the Job Centres. Surely the Department of Health should be sorting this out.

Anyone already diagnosed with enduring severe mental illness and taking incredibly expensive medication paid for by the NHS should be accepted by NewLabour as ill – not asked to turn up and prove it to Newlabour.

Often it’s taken years of working with mentally ill people to persuade them to accept the diagnosis and agree to control their symptoms with regular medication so that they stay stable and out of hospital. Often the ill person can’t see why they have the diagnosis as clearly as the psychiatists and won’t be able to expalin it to officials. Why is the judgement of the NHS mental health teams treating the person being challenged in this vaguely insulting and undermining way.

If you hallucinate daily and suffer from paranoia – then being asked to ‘attend for interview’ to explain yourself is a kind of torture, the stuff paranoia is made of and a recipe to get you to breakdown and go straight back through the revolving door to hospital.

On the other hand being assured of benefits automatically because of your NHS diagnosis and placed in the Supprot Group as of right – but not that not menaing being written off and still being able to access all Pathways to Work initiatives in a voluntary way and keep a little money you manage to work for in a few hours of therapeutic activity might seem like someone respecting the very bad hand that life has dealt you and trying to help and support you.

Please support the CarerWatch Mental Health Campaign to get Mr Purnell to adopt the second of these options for those diagnosed with enduring severe mental illness.

Come to the Mental Health section in the CarerWatch discussion group and help with this campaign.