Monday, 22 June 2015

Some of Us Think

When it was Mental Health Awareness Week
the media embraced it, springing into action:
everywhere there were posters emblazoned with images
designed to make us stop and think;
on Facebook pages memes were being shared
and people were tweeting words of wisdom;
appeals were made and, on morning TV chat shows
where interviews were hosted and given,
statistics were quoted that would help us to see
just how easily it could have been us.
With a bit of bad luck or a life event or two,
we could have been drowning, not waving;
adrift in a sea of too many starless nights,
our starved hearts stifled by depression,
a flat black ocean ahead and behind us
as we floundered in the current of despair.

Some of us, however, already knew that;
some of us have been there;
some of us remember how steep the cliff face
and how wide-eyed and deep the abyss;
and some of us worked on, and some of us didn't;
and some of us soon gave up the struggle;
while some, the lucky ones,were able,
in the end, to find the long and winding way back.

But time moved on and Mental Health Awareness
somehow has slipped down the agenda.
Now is the time for new radical approaches
that will 'help get the nation back to work'.
Some of us, though, know how the system
works and some of us are angry and suspicious;
some of think this is just another heartless,
fraudulent, Tory Austerity trick.

And some of us believe this is just another stick
for beating those who already struggle.
a way of getting them 'off the sick'
by ticking boxes and 'treating' them with CBT.
Once the sick are not sick but 'seeking' a job
how much easier to get them all on sanctions.
Some of think there's a war going on
and the lines are being drawn for all to see.

Abigail Ottley Wyatt, June, 2015

From the Budget Document
1.236 Budget 2015 also announces a package of measures to improve employment outcomes for people with mental health conditions. Starting from early 2016, the government will provide online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to 40,000 Employment and Support Allowance and Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants and individuals being supported by Fit for Work. From summer 2015, the government will also begin toco-locate Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) therapists in over 350 Job centres, to provide integrate employment and mental health support to claimants with common mental health conditions.

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