We Need To Talk

Rethink and a whole host of other leading Mental Health charities and organizations have launched a campaign to try and persuade the NHS to offer Talking Therapies to those diagnosed with severe mental illness within 28 days. You can read the We Still Need To Talk Report here.

I’d like to tell you a little about my journey with Talking Therapies in the past. Continue reading

The Next Step

So, where to begin. There is a post that is sat in my drafts section that I just cannot bring myself to post. Even by my standards it’s a whiny pile of crap. Yes I guess if you read it you could feel a modicum of sympathy for my current situation but in the long run I really should just take the ball and start running my flabby arse off to get to the next part of my life.

As with everyone who is reliant on Benefits there comes a time when you realise that things cannot go on they way they are and you have top make a choice about where to go next.

In short, my family doesn’t have enough money to get through the month. It is no ones fault. We are a medically crocked family. E.S.A. is what it is and as I have mentioned before I have gotten away with more than my fair share of luck in the whole process. I have been in the past so wrapped up in my own claim I let matters that effect others in my family slip by. So whilst I was defending myself I was letting down others and not fighting their corner. I can’t change this situation now, but I can alter how things are ahead of us.

On Monday of this week I had a CPN meeting and I spent pretty much 50% of the meeting explaining about our situation and my CPN asked me outright if I was willing to go and meet with some people who MAY be able to help me out in search for work. Put on the spot I had to think quick. Of course ever since October 2008 I have thought about the prospect of going back to work at some point. At 38 I am to young to be on the scrap heap of life. I know I have more to offer, more to give someone who could be willing to give me a chance. I agreed to meet with these people (hoping that they weren’t some kind of slave traders who sold the disabled too unscrupulous employers for peanuts.)

That night was the night Panorama and Channel 4 broadcast their programmes about ATOS and the Work Capability Assessments (WCA) I have only seen the Panorama show so far but one line of narration in that programme pricked my ears up on stalks, it went something like:

Employment Support Allowance recipients in the Support Group are the group who are not expected to ever work again!

Other things in that programme gave me conflicting thoughts and gut reactions. There were people who quite plainly had more (different) healthcare issues to myself and in my eyes most were worse off than I personally feel at this time. Without getting into the debate of who is more entitled, I had to think more on the subject of the question of could I work again if given a chance?

I spent the rest of this week up until today (Thursday) thinking about how I could go into a meeting and explain my situation. I did what I always do.. I winged it. I just answered the questions as I was asked them in the most truthful way I could. The lady I spoke to listened and wasn’t at all pushy and has left it up to me to decide if I want to go forward with joining them in my efforts to find paid work. She was adamant about a couple of things though. She insisted that I sign up to Do-It and at least apply for one volunteering position. This is an easy thing to do as I had been on this site before (albeit at 3am one morning where I didn’t sign up to anything for fear of it coming back in the cold light of day and biting me on the arse).

So she sends me off with an information pack about their organisation and an agreement to get in touch in a week and let her know what I had decided. I headed home with so many more questions in my head than I had before I had gone in there but with one firm resolve…

I had to start somewhere to get somewhere.

As the title suggests, there IS a next step and I have started that ball rolling. I have signed up to Do-It and I have applied to the local branch of Rethink. I had met one of the people who run that branch during my Recovery Group sessions and bad health had stopped me from getting in touch before hand but I have now made the leap and I now just have to wait and see if they get back in touch. I am formulating a plan in my head that will help me help myself with help from others. It’s not going to be a quick over night transformation, but I have a goal now and I have the startings of a purpose again.

Until Next Time…

The Election

Don’t panic folks I am not a raving politico but rather an interested party. In every Election since I was 18 I have always picked out an issue or two that means the most to me. When I was in education obviously it was what they were going to do for students. When I worked and was earning my own money I was interested in taxation. This time around it has to be about Mental Health provisions.

It seems that all three main parties are “planning” on increasing the provision of Talking Therapies. They are planning on doing this by creating 8,000-10,000 new Therapists to facilitate 900,000 new spaces for sufferers of depression and related illnesses. One question should be raised… Where are these 8-10,000 new therapists going to come from in the next year?

According to Rethink, 40 Health Foundations are being asked to cut more from their annual budgets, and one way they have suggested doing this is by cutting 4.5-5% from mental health budgets. They are using MH budgets as soft options as no one “really” dies from depression do they? Not “REALLY”. I can understand there needing to be cuts in the NHS but taking money from one area you have just committed to funding to god know how much training and supplying new Talking Therapies is just cutting of your nose to spite your face. It is said that the cuts would amount to a saving of £50million. Which to my mind would be a saving of about Zero lives when it comes down to the devastation caused by a wrecked life caused by depression and mania for a Bipolar sufferer. I don’t think these bureaucrats have any idea what it can be like in the midst of a mood swing, where you don’t know if your life is coming to an end or if your swinging on a star high with life talking to god.

When you see an opportunity to speak to someone who wants to become one of our elected officials be it parliament local council or whatever ask them what are you going to do for me and my mental health. You deserve the answer… and don’t let them bullshit ya with platitudes… threaten them that you haven’t taken your anti psychotic and you have the power to smell a lie. Freak the bastards out and see what they do.

Until Next Time…