Poverty and Inequality

22.05.17

Punitive benefit cuts pushing mental health sufferers further into poverty

The benefits system is causing a large number of people suffering with mental health problems to be made even more unwell, a new survey has found.

In research conducted by charity Mind, around 3,000 people with mental health problems were asked about how being ‘sanctioned’ – having financial support cut or stopped altogether – made their conditions worse.

Of the respondents, 90% said that being sanctioned had effected their mental health, and 89% said that the threat of being sanctioned had also effected their mental health.

Three in five people who had been sanctioned added that it had made them less, rather than more, likely to get a job, and a further 23% said that being sanctioned had made no difference to how likely they were to find employment.

“These statistics provide further evidence to show how the benefits system is not just failing people with mental health problems, but actively working against them,” said Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind.

“We’ve long been calling for a stop to punitive measures such as sanctions, which only serve to push people with mental health problems even further into poverty and further from their hope of finding work.”

Farmer added that treating people with suspicion and stopping their financial support when they’re unable to do the things that are asked of them is cruel, ineffective and fails to do what it is supposed to and get people into work.

“We want to see more voluntary, tailored support which works with people to identify their unique skills, ambitions and barriers to getting and staying in work,” he said.

The Mind chief executive stated that in the run-up to the general election, the charity will “continue to ensure that the voices of those we represent are heard”.

“One of our key manifesto points is that the next government ensures anyone with a mental health problem who requires financial support from the welfare system can access that support to help manage the extra costs of having a mental health problem, in order to stay well and live independently, free from the fear of sanctions and having their benefits removed if they are too unwell to work,” he concluded.

Mind’s survey also follows Shelter findings that showed how problems with housing, including people struggling to pay rent or living in low-quality accommodation, were causing many to suffer mental health conditions.

And at the end of 2016, Mind found that local councils were still spending ‘negligible’ amounts on mental health care in the community.

Top Image: David Cheskin PA Wire

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Funding inequalities could destroy public services in rural areas

20/11/2017Funding inequalities could destroy public services in rural areas

Central government funding per resident in county authorities was almost 50% below large cities last year, with councils saying the situation cou... more >
Major growth investment includes £1.7bn city transport fund

20/11/2017Major growth investment includes £1.7bn city transport fund

The government has today announced that it will release £1.7bn of extra funding for cities ahead of Wednesday’s Budget. Prime mi... more >
Counties and districts clash over suggestion to scrap two-tier authorities

20/11/2017Counties and districts clash over suggestion to scrap two-tier authorities

A report suggesting that scrapping district councils could save £2.9bn a year has prompted anger from the District Councils Network (DCN). ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Funding inequalities could destroy public services in rural areas

20/11/2017Funding inequalities could destroy public services in rural areas

Central government funding per resident in county authorities was almost 50% below large cities last year, with councils saying the situation could quickly deteriorate, new research released toda... more >
Major growth investment includes £1.7bn city transport fund

20/11/2017Major growth investment includes £1.7bn city transport fund

The government has today announced that it will release £1.7bn of extra funding for cities ahead of Wednesday’s Budget. Prime minister Theresa May made the announcement, which in... more >

the raven's daily blog

Visual.ONS: How to compete with the big data aggregators

13/11/2017Visual.ONS: How to compete with the big data aggregators

Advertisement feature Christopher Gallagher, territory manager at SAS, explains how big data can be used by the public sector to find innovative solutions to common problems.  I have been really impressed by the work of Visual.ONS – the team at the Office for National Statistics, who are responsible for exploring imaginati... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Driving forward a healthier Scotland

10/11/2017Driving forward a healthier Scotland

Dundee City Council is leading the way in boosting electric vehicle (EV) uptake in Scotland, writes Rebecca Wallace from the local authority&rsqu... more >
A smarter approach to digital transformation

10/11/2017A smarter approach to digital transformation

Catherine Bright, Smarter Digital Services (SDS) manager, explains how a partnership of 12 councils across Kent and Surrey are jointly funding a ... more >
Delivering on estates

10/11/2017Delivering on estates

Sam Ulyatt, strategic category commercial director at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), on how a new framework can help public sector organisat... more >
Open for business

10/11/2017Open for business

Clare Moore, senior specialist of valuation and disposals at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), explains how public sector bodies looking to... more >

interviews

‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

30/06/2017‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

Keith Smith, public sector business development manager at Virgin Media Business, tells PSE’s Luana Salles that health and social care orga... more >
HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

26/06/2017HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

Mark Hall, Chief Assurance Officer at Redcentric, discusses NHS Digital’s project, the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) and what b... more >
Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

25/04/2017Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

Ahead of this year’s mayoral elections, Lord Kerslake, the former head of the Civil Service, tells PSE’s David Stevenson why the argu... more >
New social care funding misses the point

13/04/2017New social care funding misses the point

Clive Betts MP, chair of the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee, reflects on the social care funding released in this year’s ... more >

public sector focus

View all News