Sunday, 21 August 2016

When you cry down the phone I feel like crying too

A DWP member of staff writes about how stressful it is to speak with vulnerable people in crisis.

 "I have a script I read from, over and over again, the same for every customer. Some of the questions are opaque at best: “has your doctor told you that special rules apply to your condition?” is one which flummoxed the woman this morning who has cancer; the script specifies that I should not offer an explanation of the term unless I’m asked. She did ask, so I read the follow-up line “special rules means your doctor has told you that your condition has a life expectancy of less than six months.” No, she said, not yet, and I breathed a silent sigh of relief that I wouldn’t need to ask another series of questions about this, pushing the call-handling time up further."

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Tackling poverty and mental health – what we know and what we can do

 The UK is the world’s sixth largest economy, yet today 13 million (that’s 1 in 5 people) are living here in poverty. Given the daily struggle that people living in poverty experience life to be, it is perhaps not surprising that this review found that poverty increases the risk of mental health problems and is both a cause and consequence of mental ill health.
The 2015 Monitoring poverty and social exclusion report found that within the lowest socio-economic class, 26% of women and 23% of men were at a high risk of mental health problems. It is clear that there is much that we can do to prevent both mental health problems and poverty by tackling the root causes of both and by mitigating their impacts on individuals, families and communities. 
Iris Elliot 
Head of Policy and Research at the Mental Health Foundation. 

How many therapists working with the DWP will read this report?

How many counselling training establishments, whose students will practice on clients who are too poor to be able to choose private therapy, will read this report?

How many agencies who use counselling students to service the needs of their client base will read the report?