Posts Tagged ‘Benefit Tales (website)’

The Fit for Work Test Fails the Mentally Ill, Not the Other Way Round

July 13, 2013

I’ve linked to this story on the website Benefit Tales, as it’s about how the Atos Disability Assessment discriminates against the mentally ill.

The fit-for-work test fails mentally ill people – not the other way round
Posted in Uncategorized by argotina1

I’ve seen myself how those with mental disorders are at a huge disadvantage in passing this test, which has to be changed.

As a 76-year-old archdeacon and former vicar, I never imagined that in retirement I’d end up starting a fight with the government. But that’s exactly what happened this week, when I launched the I Agree With Dick petition, in conjunction with the charity Rethink Mental Illness. We’re demanding that the government stops using the work capability assessment to judge whether people with mental illness should receive benefits, until the test is improved.

This matters so much to me because I’ve been through the test with others, and have seen just how unfair it is. My son has bipolar disorder. Over the years he’s been in and out of hospital, and sectioned three times. He cannot live on his own, and when he’s tried to go back to work it’s only served to made his condition even worse. The benefits he receives help him get by from day-to-day….

I know a number of people, who have suffered from a variety of mental health problems. The reverend gentleman’s comments about the disability assessment form is absolutely right. The Atos form is nearly wholly concerned with physical disability. Thus those who can’t work because of mental health problems are placed at a real disadvantage. At the moment in Britain there’s a campaign to give the public a greater awareness and understanding of mental illness. BBC 3 is running a series on the teenage patients in a mental hospital. These young people suffer from a variety of acute disorders, including from Obsessive-Compulsion to bipolar. There have also been disturbing reports in the press about the number of teenagers and young people now suffering from depression. These including children as young as eight having thoughts of suicide. A few years ago a study came out claiming that a quarter of university students will suffer from some form of mental health problem. We are in the middle of a genuine rise in mental health problems, and the government and their hired agencies like Atos are not helping.

For the complete article, go to