Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Some good news at last! Via The F-Word comes this story.

“‘Moving People’ promises to change the culture of mental health forever in a ground-breaking bid to battle the growing problem of mental health stigma and discrimination, aiming to reach some 30 million people across England.”

I cannot help highlighting some of the statistics they give:

“84 per cent experiencing problems in getting jobs, mortgages, healthcare, friendships, relationships”

Well, Doh!. Take away the mortgage and you get my life.

Only 42 per cent of Londoners disagree that ‘One of the main causes of mental illness is a lack of self-discipline and willpower’.

Which really means that,

58 per cent of Londoners think that ‘One of the main causes of mental illness is a lack of self-discipline and willpower’

Oh, really? You can always count on Victim Blaming to add merryment to being mentally ill! It’s interesting to keep in mind that a) this are Londoners (infamously known as the most progressive of the progressives) and b) While the remaining 42 percent may not see it as a “main” cause, they will most certainly think it plays a part.

Also, what’s with the “winning” thing? Are worthy causes put inside little plastic balls and then randomly chosen for the big prize? I’m sure that the people behind “Moving People” worked very hard to make the case that they needed the funding. Why is everything that’s beneficial to society considered a “luxury”, a “prize to be won” as if there wasn’t enough to go around for such irrelevant stuff?. Oh wait, that’s right, there ain’t!

And one last thing before I shut up.

“We will be using the latest social marketing techniques”

Social marketing! Almost as fun as product marketing!
Let’s get real here. Social problems aren’t bottles of shampoo. And looking at the way shampoo is advertised, what are the chances that this campaign will include highly sexualized material?

All in all, this is good news. I’m sure of it!


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I heard a few snippets this week on the BBC news along the lines of

Put away the tranquilisers. Sushi, chocolate and a new haircut could help beat depression, a new book suggests.

The overall impression I received from this was that it was advocating the ‘buck up, go out and sort yourself out’ attitude that can be very damaging to people with mental health problems. It also implies that it is aimed at women with anxiety and depression, as I can’t see many people suggesting to men that they eat sushi, chocolate and get a haircut to deal with stress.

I decided to seek out the details about the news on the BBC website and found a short interview with Professor Jane Plant, author of Beating Stress, Anxiety and Depression, and Jane Harris, of mental health charity Rethink.

Luckily, my first impressions were wrong as they seem to be advocating that people with mild to moderate depression may find a range of diet and lifestyle changes helpful. That these options should be considered before anti-depressants are prescribed, and that more non-drug psychological treatments should be available for mental health. They also mentioned that only 6% of health research funding goes towards mental health research, even though the NHS spends approx £300 million a year on drug therapies.

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Just thought I’d drop a quick post about the abortion limit, which has been kept at 24 weeks, a victory, I think, of common sense and medical understanding over religious belief and emotive arguing.

Here’s the F-Word’s take on it!

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Benefits and Work Poster

“Can you help challenge David Freud, the government special adviser who wants to create millionaires from your benefits? Benefits and Work believes that David Freud has breached the Civil Service Code in relation to honesty and integrity. However, we are not an affected party and so cannot make a formal complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. But you may be able to.

War of terror
The government today announced it is to follow city banker turned special adviser David Freud’s recommendations on paying more money to the private sector to get sick and disabled claimants back into work.

Freud is responsible for some of the recent claimant bashing statements which are part of what appears to be a war of terror being waged by the main political parties against the sick and disabled. In particular, Freud claimed that only one third of incapacity benefits claimants should actually be getting the benefit and that the level of fraud is much higher than the DWP claims. (See: Freud’s views: ignorance, arrogance and astonishing avarice 05.02.08)


The ombudsman’s office say they will consider a complaint against Freud if the the action complained of took place when he was acting in his official capacity and if the complainant can show that they have suffered as a result of that action.

We believe that in his interview with the Telegraph Freud was acting in an official capacity and, by his inaccurate statements, has caused genuine fear and emotional distress to individual claimants. The ombudsman’s office normally looks for financial loss, but they have accepted that emotional distress may be sufficient cause for an investigation. As we are not claimants, however, the ombudsman’s office have made it clear they would not accept a complaint from us.

Below is the basis of our case against Freud. If you agree with it and you are an incapacity benefit claimant who has been distressed by the continued anti-claimant propaganda then please consider making a formal complaint.”

Please visit the Benefits and Work website to read full details.

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