Tag Archives: suicide

The Government Benefit Reforms are driving people to suicide

2 Jul

Well, many stood up and stated it would happen. Changes to the benefits system have continued to be introduced and slowly the cracks have began to appear!

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Was the DWP ready for the consequences when some affected claimants didn’t know how to deal with them changes? Seemingly not!

I was sadden to read the story of how a man had set himself on fire outside a Birmingham benefits office (Job Centre Plus).The man who was reported to have mental health problems was reportedly deemed fit for work despite being seen as vulnerable, therefore sparking a change to his benefits. It’s said that he was unable to deal with such changes (which is also rumoured to have caused a late payment) therefore making him extremely upset leading to him dousing himself in flammable liquid and setting himself ablaze.

The man was taken to hospital with burns to his legs.

This shows the sheer frustration the benefits system can cause to those who have mental health problems, disabilities and medical conditions. The cuts are affecting some of britain’s most vulnerable people and although I believe there are those that claim sickness benefits such as DLA when they shouldn’t I believe the Government are going the completely wrong way about fixing the issue.

This man was just one of many claimants forced to cope with huge overhauls within the system because he suffers from an “invisible” condition therefore giving them the green light to hit him with the back to work stick. It’s quite apparent from his actions that this isn’t a person mentally able to deal with the pressures the workplace may provide. Yes… People make mistakes, but medical assessments should be the best and when someone is very unstable for whatever reason it’s hoped that such professionals are able to pick these things up! After all this is not the first incident and won’t by any means be the last! Earlier this year there was reports of an attempted suicide in a Liverpool benefits office! Yes, these changes are really hitting the wrong people and this could lead to the government actually having blood on their hands.

In the past the Government has claimed that 600 million has been overpaid through the DLA’s current system. They claim that they are not trying to reduce the benefit or the number of people claiming it, but instead trying to reduce the growth rate in the number of claimants. Though since such reports were made we continuously hear about claimants losing out, societies most vulnerable people being encouraged back into the workplace before they are ready.

I recently received Little man’s DLA form. It seems that his current claim will run out come September requiring us to reapply. The letter makes it all seem so bloody easy (you know the type, don’t worry reapply and the benefit will continue as it always has done). Except I know that the system is under pressure to make them cuts and they are looking to save money any how they can. Little man needs his DLA as as much (if not more) than he did back in 2008 when he was first awarded it. The thought of having to fill out the huge form and endure the whole sodding process again, fills me with dread.

If you have been affected or fear you will be affected by cuts to sickness benefits (especially that of DLA) I’d love to hear your thoughts?

#HAWMC Day 28 – Why did you do it?

2 May

As I continue on my mission to catch up and complete these last few posts in the “Health Activist Writers Month Challenge” (#HAWMC) I bring you post 28/30

The smell of heated milk and burnt toast isn’t a pleasant aroma, sadly it’s one that will never be forgotten.

I do hate hot milk, I often wonder why anybody would want to pour the stinky stuff over a bowl of cornflakes?

Now, Cornflakes with cold milk… It fits, some things just fit!

Well, it seems that most would beg to differ as on this particular morning the horrid smell whiffed through the air, unfortunately waking me from a somewhat restful sleep!

Sitting up I looked around in a somewhat confused state. “Where am I?” was my first thought, shortly followed by my second thought… “What the hell is that awful smell? Oh my god I’m going to be sick”

I was an 11 year old child who swore that it was that nasty aroma of milk and burnt rubber toast that was to blame for her sudden sickness (some 19 years later I still believe it to be so). However, the doctor with the serious expression upon his face, that stood beside me was quite adamant that the lethal cocktail of prescription drugs I’d willing subjected on my young body, or maybe even the actions needed to remove them was possibly to blame!

Yes, as you may have guessed already, I’m in hospital, a bed in a side room of a colourful children’s ward, walls sporting an aray of children’s drawings and a playroom that was never open!

Looking down at my bruised, tender hand that is connected to a Intravenous line full of saline solution, I shudder at the sight of it, thankful that I have no memory of how it got there!

My mind is a foggy haze, doctors and nurses come and go, reading notes and taking vitals. Each smile but say nothing… Me… I’m to afraid to ask!

As the day commences, a flash of memories greet me, waiting for my mother I feel the need to hide or just run away. “Why did I do such a silly thing?” was something I repeatedly asked myself over and over again… each time I produce the same answer… “I don’t know!”

A moment of madness, an escape, a cry for help, a way to take it all away maybe?

I couldn’t look my mother in the eyes, her face was full of sadness possibly disappointment too, while mine was full of shame.

They wouldn’t let me leave the hospital despite my constant pleads to go home. I had to see a psychologist before it would even be considered.

The psychologist was the very first person (excluding that of myself) who asked me… “why did you do it?”
I’d successfully avoid the question the entire day, I stared blankly into space, lowering my head a tear leaves my eye roles down my cheek before finally dripping from my chin falling to the ground like some leaky tap that needs fixing. Scared they would lock me away I open my mouth yet no words come out. Looking up at his face and into his eyes I wonder what it is that he is thinking.

“I dont know” I suddenly mutter

Silence… Then…

“Well, Do you wish to die” he asked

I quickly shake my head a little uncomfortable with the question.

“No I don’t”

More silence… Before finally covering my face with my hands I let it all out. Once I no longer needed to see that look of sympathy in his eyes I just couldn’t stop speaking!

Rising up from his chair he leant over and removed my hands from across my eyes.

“It’s OK” he soothed… “Everything is going to be fine”

Post 28/30 in the health activist writers month challenge was to raise awareness for Child mental health (OCD and Bulimia)

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Photo credit Wikipedia

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