Middle Class Solutions To Working Class Problems Is Why Charities Like MIND Keep Getting It So Wrong

didnt-go-to-work-todayIain Duncan Smith must be pissing himself.  A report released at the end of last year by mental health charity MIND could not have gone further in endorsing the core ideas that lie behind his bungled and brutal welfare reforms.

The report is titled “We’ve Got Work To Do” and claims to demand ‘fundamental reform’ of the workplace and social security system to better support people with a mental health condition.  Sadly it is calling for nothing of the sort and is underpinned by the exact same lies and toxic assumptions that have driven both Tory and Labour welfare reforms.

Just like the DWP, MIND have adopted the flawed medical consensus that work is good for your health. The charity does acknowledge that this isn’t actually always true, but falls short of saying that work can be bad for your health, instead arguing that “inappropriate or poor quality work can have as negative an effect on people’s mental health as not being in work”.  They base this opinion on research carried out in Australia that found that “the mental health of those who were unemployed was comparable or more often superior to those in jobs of the poorest psychosocial quality.”  In other words work can be worse for your mental health than being unemployed, rather than just equally bad as MIND claim.

It is not nit-picking to point out the discrepency between what this research found and what MIND say it found because it reveals the charity’s opinions to be based on ideology, not facts.  This same factual slippage occurs elsewhere in the report when MIND begin by saying that most people with mental health conditions want to work, which later becomes everyone with a mental health condition wants to work. The truth, as revealed in the footnotes to the report, are that only around 58% of people out of work due to a mental health condition strongly agreed they wanted to return to work whilst 20% did not feel they were well enough.

These two distortions – or let’s call them lies – have allowed the despised Work Capability Assessment, benefit sanctions and workfare all to be misrepresented as ‘support’ or ‘help’.  In truth these measures destroy lives.  The medical consensus that work is good for you does often not apply to those on the lower end of the income scale who face being forced by Jobcentres into the kind of work likely to make them ill.

MIND’s Chief Executive Paul Farmer claims at the beginning of the report that there have been “improvements in how people with mental health problems are supported”, although it is unclear what they are. There then follows an emotive story about someone’s journey through the benefit system after leaving work due to depression.  This is actually where their journey would stop, because unless they could provide reems of medical evidence to the Jobcentre they would be disallowed benefits for giving up work.  That this reports begins by misrepresenting the benefit system as it currently functions just shows how removed these giant disability charities have become from the lives of those they claim to support.

Instead the ‘fundamental reform’ they call for is actually more of the same or worse – such as the dangerous idea that sensitive health information from the Work Capability Assessment should be passed over to Work Programme providers like A4e and G4S.  This is like your boss having access to your medical history and appallingly MIND seem pretty relaxed about this as well.

Much of the early part of the report is taken up by calling for improvements in the working environment for people suffering mental ill-health.  Which is fine, everyone wants that, except greedy employers who worry it might cost them money or who harbour nasty little prejudices about mental health.  According to MIND themselves this is about 40% of them.  Yet one of MIND’s recommendations is that the Maximus run ‘Fit To Work’ service – the new telephone helpline which will be used to certify time off instead of GPs – should more effectively engage with employers.  About the only decent thing about Fit To Work, which is designed to bully people back into the workplace before they are better, is that currently you have the right to keep your boss out of any discussions.

The final part of the report discusses what future welfare-to-work schemes should look like for those with a mental health condition.  The charity are calling for “new specialist scheme for people with mental health problems on
ESA”.  A scheme which should be run by those who “have expertise and experience of working with people with mental health problems”.  And here lies the real reason for this report.  It’s a fucking advert to any incoming Labour Government to give MIND a lucrative contract to run a new welfare-to-work service.

There is no longer any doubt that endless Atos assessments, workfare and benefit sanctions are creating a crisis in the lives of those with a mental health condition.  The tragic death toll rises ever higher.  Yet nowhere in this report does MIND call for these brutal policies to be scrapped.  Even if MIND were handed a contract to be nicer to people on ESA this would still leave those who have been found fit for work abandoned and dumped onto mainstream unemployment benefits alongside those whose condition is at yet undiagnosed.  On twitter yesterday MIND claimed they couldn’t call for sanctions to be scrapped for people who are unemployed because it wasn’t a key issue.  If your mental health condition isn’t bad enough to be able to claim ESA then tough shit seems to be the charity’s response if you get sanctioned.

The thing is, naked profiteering aside, MIND are not bastards.  They have dedicated front line workers who don’t get paid anywhere near enough and are sincere committed people.  Workers who would probably agree that benefit sanctions and the Work Capability Assessment should be scrapped immediately.  They see the carnage that is being caused everyday.

The problem is that reports like these are overseen and commissioned by highly paid charity executives who live lifestyles that their service users and lowest paid staff can only dream of.  These lifestyles lead them to make assumptions based on their own distorted experience of the world.  Over time they become unable to avoid inflicting solutions to the problems faced by working class people based on their own middle class values because that is all they know.  Often these solutions are utterly bizarre, like the boss of homelessness charity Thamesreach Jeremy Swain’s obsessive belief that the biggest problem facing homeless people is that beer is too cheap.  You read that right.  Too cheap.

It is near impossible for someone on a huge salary who does a job they love to understand why someone may not feel up to working at present.  That, to someone like MIND Chief Executive Paul Farmer, really does seem like madness. Likewise charity bosses have no real understanding of why it might be dangerous to allow other bosses to snoop around your health records.  Bosses think bosses are lovely people who would never abuse their powers – or at least not without a damn good reason.  And bosses know best, they tell each other that all the time.

Charity bosses in particular have their own view of themselves as benevolent experts confirmed everyday by politicians and journalists who would far rather talk to them than someone on the dole.  Their whopping salaries provide further proof of their own ability.  As do arse-licking middle managers who continually tell them how wonderful and clever they are, to their faces at least.  So Paul Farmer must be is right because he’s Paul Farmer and MIND are right because they are MIND and anyone criticising them just doesn’t understand.  Because they are not experts.

That’s how MIND alongside other disability and anti-poverty charities can so easily dismiss the demands of grassroots campaigns comprising of disabled people and benefit claimants.  Groups which are more or less united in calling for benefit sanctions and the WCA to be scrapped completely.  These people are not experts.  At worst they might even be service users.  And you don’t want them getting too uppity.  Before you know where you are you’ll have working class people running organisations together to address working class problems.  Then there’d be nothing at all for poor Paul Farmer to do.    He might even have to get a real job.

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166 responses to “Middle Class Solutions To Working Class Problems Is Why Charities Like MIND Keep Getting It So Wrong

  1. Did you think mind would bite the hand that feeds it nah
    its a tory thing has we well now they still take stacking shelves
    people who they get paid for from the dwp rth ids has them all
    rapped tightly to his wishes work makes you better yes a proper
    nazi program jeff3

  2. IDS has threatened all of the charities that he will withdraw their funding if they start trying to interfere by speaking out about sanctions, workfare and foodbanks. If the charities had anything about them they should tell him to shove his funding up his arse and do their own fundraising.

    • When a charity becomes a business (all of them are these days), the real meaning of charity goes out of the window…

    • ex-mind employee

      National Mind only receives a tiny proportion of gov funding. Its the Local Mind Assocations (LMA) that are dependent on state funding and that has been going down year on year as commisioners opt for cheaper larger providers. That said i have worked of LMA most of my careers cause Mind was a good organisation with the right priorties. Not any more, its all about cutting costs, only working with people who are deemed to be critical and the patronising Recovery agenda. I ended up resigning after excessive bullying and was followed by a further five members of our management team. Did the alarm bells go off for trustees that five out of nine members of MT had resigned in three months? Nope cause Mind dont care about their own staff morale or mental wellbeing and basically the entire chairty sector suck.

  3. Mind don’t really have any frontline workers. This is because the frontline work is done by local Minds which are like a franchise. This could help explain why the central Mind can be so out of touch. Having said that I know some local Minds that don’t have a very good attitude to mental health. I wish these charities could realise how much they have ‘lost the plot’.

  4. During my WCA by ATOS the ‘health professional’ took an aggressive line and asked me if I was suicidal, how often I was suicidal and had I thought about how I would kill myself? Following my answers, she then aggressively told me I was ‘not normal’ and that she would contact my doctor to inform him of my ‘abnormally high suicidal ideation’. Now, before I set foot in the ATOS centre, it hadn’t really occurred to me that I was mentally fragile, but after meeting this ‘professional’ my state of mind has nose-dived and I’m suffering quite severe anxiety. Plus she passed me fit for work by lying about the meeting we had so I’m now on JSA and being threatened with sanctions by Job Centre Plus.

    The WCA is the worst thing that’s happened to me in several years. I can only imagine how someone less resilient than me would cope with such an interview – if Mind are endorsing the WCA they should be lobbied by people like me who’ve had extremely negative experiences that have impacted on their mental well-being. Johnny’s right, as usual, about the Charity Industry’s middle-class adherence to Arbeit Macht Frei, which is worlds away from what working people have to put up with in the actual workplace. Tinkering with the WCA is not good enough, it needs scrapping.

    • Hermes, if your WCA was within the last 13 months it might not be too late to ask for a “late revision”. Talk to the CAB (or anyone local who gives benefit advice).

    • overburdenddonkey

      it was the aggression, and you were undefended against it, caught off guard…excellent welfare advice can be found here… http://edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/

    • Being asked if suicidal might be normal about clinical depression, but to start to discus how you would kill yourself is trying to get to do it.

      There is another way to get rid of all this abject cruelty.

      Believe it or not, it is voting different, to get all these public school, artstocratic political class out of government once and for all.
      See how on

    • Hermes, read that and can’t help but draw parallels- I As much as I disagree about CBT therapy, I gave it a go, I didn’t do a fucking tap of their suggested exercises, I think I was drawing my own conclusions to my situation, applying common sense and improving on my own steam, but in weekly CBT sessions it was noted that my mental health scores consistently improved up until certain points in time, where they plummeted to crises level. These regression points, lo and behold, coincide with the brown envelopes dropping on the mat, and hit rock bottom after an ATOS wca. From there I had to start from scratch and build myself up from a gibbering wreck, every single time. The one good thing that came from CBT was hard evidence that the entire WCA proscess was fucking me up, and allowed me to mentally prepare myself before the event

    • Hermes, I am disgusted about teh experience you have had with health professional and ATOS. I can only second the advice to speak with CAB. Unfrtunately, even there some advisors are better than others. As an Independent Social Worker, I am always willing to help people for free who are in crisis, so contact me on beaconsocialcare@yahoo.com if you think that might apply.
      As a first aid for you and others: self help materials many have found very helpful (free!) are here: http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/consumers.cfm

      Best wishes!
      Barbara S

      • overburdenddonkey

        i do not advocate or approve of any form of behaviourism…i do advocate the curing work of dr bob johnson….

        • Agree Donkey and all, – got nothing to with cbt and the like either but enabling people to act …

          • overburdenddonkey

            help them lose their terrors of expressing anger and rage then…!

            • exactly, and effectively

              • overburdenddonkey

                yes effectively, as this means an ungummed clear mind, all irrational anxiety causing trapped/frozen terrors booted out….knowing thyself, as nature intended, self esteem, aka self confidence restored to as one @ birth….freedom from the bullying words and deeds of others…tongue and jawbone in perfect harmony…no cultural rules, grace, and etiquette, to follow, simple..we all need vitality giving vitals of life…. the ransom of them is despicable….cooperation suits us all, tyranny does not…

    • overburdenddonkey

      it is another reason why WCA should be recorded….and yes it should be scrapped… warmest wishes…

    • Thanks everyone for your kind wishes and replies: I am writing my appeal today and couldn’t remember where I’d posted this comment. I was on ESA for problems with my back and osteoarthritis. I have PTSD (long story) and the ‘health professional’ was very sceptical about this, noting I looked her in the eye therefore couldn’t have any problems with PTSD. Thank you, Dr Freud!

      Total farce all round, the appeal is a waste of time – let’s be honest – but I’m using it as an opportunity to tell the DWP I know how I’ve been played by ATOS using their guidelines and that their stooge ‘health professional’ has the social graces of a scorpion, with less of its ecological niche value. I’m now in financial crisis, on top of being unwell and having to sign on with all the conditionality that imposes and – joy of joys – now a fortnightly appearance at the Work Programme. Still, the £30 per week clawed back from the DWP budget gives Iain Duncan Smith more free underpants and ‘proves’ I’ve been cured by the miracle-working ATOS. Hallelujah!

  5. Vote for CLASS WAR!!


  6. Excellent article again, JV. I won’t go into the issues you’ve raised – I can’t, not today, maybe I’ll post again when my concentration is better. But I did want to say I witnessed that exchange between yourself and MIND on twitter yesterday, and I replied to that tweet of theirs myself. You’ve already guessed it – no answer. Maybe it’s because I’m only a service user, or maybe I wasn’t playing nice enough, or polite enough. But, here’s the thing… I really think the time for politeness has passed, and quite a while ago.

    Nina (aka Pipsterish)

  7. The trouble with most charity’s is that they take tax payers money and are reliant on this, perhaps they should employ people with mental health illness and help them train up in jobs they want/can do….. Instead of paying huge sums of money for a government mouth piece… try thinking about the person not your bank balance.
    Charity’s are getting worse at looking after their client base.

  8. Is the Mind report available as a PDF somewhere? I clicked the link near the top of the post above, but it’s three video clips – I can’t see any actual report.

  9. Charities are being bought up by businesses & used for money laundering with the same Charity name. All on the Work Programme list.

  10. overburdenddonkey

    i have stated and explained why many times…i have no time for any org that uses nudge/behaviourism ie cbt..

    • overburdeneddonky … I’m also not a fan of CBT – I’ve had CBT ‘treatment’ for anxiety, panic, etc., and found it next to useless. Maybe it could be useful for some things, I can’t speak for everyone of course. But for me it boils down to ‘think positive’, however many times CBT practitioners try to deny this, which they do, in books especially. For me it is unbelievably shallow in its approach and, for many conditions and illnesses, takes the wrong approach. What annoys me though, is that it dominates mental and behavioural practice and treatment in the West. Many people attending CBT on the NHS, think it’s the only way to approach their problem. And most organisations which receive funding to practice CBT, sing its praises unjustifiably I believe. Their websites usually claim that it “has been proven to be successful” – but when you actually look into that claim, pick it apart, and look which data and methodology they base that claim on, it very soon doesn’t stand up to rigorous scrutiny.

      • overburdenddonkey

        see also lucy’s comments on this thread…
        i call it shut up therapy…yes it boils down to PMA ballcocks, we need every emotion pos neg and neutral or we fall over, we need all of our senses intact, RESTORED/RECOVERED, root human nature is amazing..anxiety is a symptom not a cause so cbt can never work, the history/past has to be healed not the present….best work is that of dr bob johnson, no management or control involved, but expression of blocked/trapped emotions, it’s often very hard work…oliver james laughs @ cbt, this shallow ‘therapy’…dr dorathy rowe explains well in her hefty book ‘beyond fear’ how crap it is and how it is used in clinical settings…
        feeling make word, feel shit, the word to use is shit…
        see MAD IN AMERICA by robert whitaker…

        • I’m actually pleased to read that you and others have criticisms (to say the least) of CBT. I get really frustrated to see all the books recommended by doctors, therapists and libraries are CBT-based. I will look into Bob Johnson’s approach. I wonder if he’s a bit like Peter Levine (who wrote a book called Waking the Tiger … terrible title, but not a bad book, in which he talks, I seem to remember, about a similar concept to fear being frozen). I’ve also found Claire Weekes really helpful in some important ways. Until reading her books (I’ve literally read them all), I didn’t quite understand what was happening to me. She really put it in context, I mean made me understand what had happened to me in relation to fear, which my therapists hadn’t at all. Incidentally, there’s a guy with a website and self-help course called Panic Away, and – how can I say this – his course is very, very, very similar to the approach taken by Weekes … funny that … she wrote down her ideas long before his course appeared.

          • overburdenddonkey

            no! not waking the tiger….he’s got the wrong fear…the fear he refers to is fear of failure/fear of rejecting, which often twisted into fear of rejection,if one fails to please, the other…but the fear/terror is expressing one’s true feelings …he even mentions alice miller, but loses track completely….toxic shame diagrams, and all…it’s anxiety management and control, forget it, it is nothing like bob johnsons work…which is deeper than fear of failure and is frozen terrors (which keeps one pleasing others) and expressing bottled up RAGE, @ the abuse…
            throw self help (coping/management) books into the bin…

      • The problem of CBT is that it attacks the symptoms not the causes.It just covers up the cracks rather than trying to understand your anxiety/depression and what makes it tick. The west likes it because it is shallow and easy to apply in an almost ‘one size fits all’ mentality.

        • I couldn’t agree more.

        • CBT aka Auto-Brain-Washing. I’ve written formal letters of complaint in the past to my PCT about nurses and counsellors who have lied to me when I tell them up front that I will NOT take part in CBT (or NLP) – one told me that she wanted me to get some books on “Mindfullness. It’s not CBT and would probably be very useful in managing your pain!” Er… yeah, Mindfullness = CBT with some extra woo thrown in for kicks. Why anyone thinks such crap would be of any use managing chronic pain that is barely managed with max dose of prescribed opiates & other meds. “Oh, yes, that screaming pain in all of my joints doesn’t really exist. No, I can’t feel it at all now. It’s just the gentle fluttering of butterfly wings on my skin instead.” (Note, this is based on a similar type session 20 odd years ago). Yeah, they can fuck right off with that crap.

          Note: I can meditate in a few ways to block (or ignore, really) the pain (“if I don’t move it doesn’t hurt” mantra meditation, reading, playing a computer game, immersed in a movie/TV program) – but it only works for as long as I am doing whatever it is. As soon as I move, or am interrupted, the pain smacks me over again. I can also block the pain for a short period to do craft work if I hyper-focus. The problem there is that if I stay in one position for long enough the pain comes back twice as strong when I move.

  11. mind are a totally paristic organsitation with total comtempt for the people they cliam to support.

    • Seconded. With the exception of a very, very few individuals, most working in the distorted and vast field of MH are toxic, bullying parasites. You get well, they don’t have a job. You stay distraught, they will keep you that way, because without your sorry, disordered arse on the seat, there’s no money in their pocket.

      Psychiatry, psychology and the associated “professions” = Emperor’s New Clothes.

      • Jesse Ventura (Former Governor of California and Consiracy Theory Researcher)

        Lucy, one thing I learned in Government was if I wanted to know the answer to a question I followed the money. FOLLOW THE MONEY, Lucy!

  12. Why the WCA isn’t working

    Posted on 02/04/2012

    Our Chief Executive Paul Farmer blogs about the damaging impact of the Work Capability Assessment.

    Following his resignation from the Government’s review panel for the Work Capability Assessment, our Chief Executive Paul Farmer blogs about the damage the process is doing to the lives of people with mental health problems.


    • overburdenddonkey

      i am sick of mind and their demarcations…ok, not ok, mind have mental health problems…

      • ………thats right OBD, they are up and down like a whore’s drawers!

      • ………..this is an extract from the FACULTY FOR OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE.
        This is the examination DDAM, the qualification that a HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL needs to achieve in order to carry out work capability examinations on persons having mental problems;

        Faculty of Occupational Medicine
        DDAM Regulations
        The clinical examination will be conducted using the objective, structured clinical
        examination (OSCE) format. Equipment will be provided but candidates should bring their
        own stethoscopes. Candidates will see 2 medium and 4 short cases.
        One of the medium
        cases will be a psychiatric patient, portrayed by a role player. The medium cases will each
        last 30 minutes and the short cases up to 15 minutes.

        …………………..”thats right they examine a psychiatric role player”

        Click to access DDAMregs2014-2.pdf

      • I had the misfortune of working for MIND and then ending up with clinical depression because of the job. Funnily enough they got rid of me because of my mental health issues, which kind of told me a lot about their ethics.
        Now working in acute and low secure mental health for private companies has shown me the true extent of the money grabbers leaving those in need rationed for even bread and milk… don’t get me started honestly!!

    • 28/03/2014
      Mind’s statement on Atos quitting Work Capability Assessment contract early

      This morning it was announced that Atos is terminating its contract managing Work Capability Assessments, which test if a benefit claimant is fit-for-work. In response, Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind has said:

      “However, we feel there are fundamental issues with the WCA process, and the design of ESA, which have not been properly addressed by these reviews, or by the DWP. Very few people are actually managing to move closer to work through this process, and in fact many people are finding that the stress and pressure they are put under is making their health worse and a return to work less likely. Mind believes this is because the assessment process is still too inaccurate and insensitive, and the support people receive following this assessment is not sufficiently personalised or specialist.”


  13. One thing going up against the donkey democracy politicians, go up against the good society progressives of the NGOs of the Third Force and prepare to be tarred and feathered in the street.

    The Third Sector is a dangerous and undemocratic political force in Scotland, usurping the voice of the people they claim to represent.

    Brave post JV.

    • Alex Haddock the fat fascist loves that word: “progressive”, when what “progressive” really means for the Scotch is Nazi totalitarianism under the jack-boot of Police (State Scotland).

  14. Not only does the Third Sector soak-up billions of pounds of public monies but it also stifles free forming political dissent that does not serve the vested interests of the NGO – which usually is the perpetuation of the problem they claim to be the solution to.

  15. The person at the top running each charity gets £100,000 a year or near about !!!

  16. Charities are the new Disability Confident PLC mission. Gov investing in Disability In Work. Contracts have contract terms.

  17. Class War at food banks – Class War in charities.- Class War in disability.

  18. Dodgy Dave comes with a Public Health Warning – Bully bully for you.

  19. Ex-Vertegen Slave

    There are three requirements for a satisfying job:

    Autonomy. (really important) You get a role in deciding what you do every day. Even if you might not always get decide exactly what you do, you can choose how to get it done.

    Complexity. It must be an intellectually stimulating challenge; it should “engage both your mind and imagination.”

    Connection Between Effort & Reward. The harder you work, the greater your income or recognition (at least eventually).

    Don’t think sorting throw shitty nappies and left-over take-aways looking for bit of ‘recyclable’ stuff such as cardboard in a ‘re-cycling plant with a fucking gang-master bawling at you and working all day for jack-shit some how cuts the mustard. In fact, it is enough to drive you nuts, how anyone can say this shit is good for your mental health beggars belief.

  20. Ex-Vertegen Slave

    or put another way: Complexity, Autonomy, and Proximity to Rewards.

  21. Why do disabled people want to work? Some may well do, but the sort of job is going to be 50p an hour & patronizing non stop.

  22. Disability is like racism. Racism against mental health – racism against a physical disability. Disability Racism is rife. Since no one is taking any notice of the Disability Hate Crime Law or Disability Equality Laws or the Disability Human Rights Laws or Disability Discrimination laws.

  23. 3 million disabled people have found work over the past 3 years. Sounds great PR in the media. What it is meant to read 3 million disabled people have been sanction. Being sanctioned is a job figure getting the disabled off benefits & into sanctioned DWP work.

    Fiddle the figures or fraud !!!

  24. Who would believe the Welfare Reform Bill is costing £120 billion. Please include the cover up & lawyers fees.

  25. Does the DWP home visitor want to clean my toilet – Well what are you doing here I am not letting you in unless you clean my toilet. The DWP soon fucked off out of it.

  26. Have you got a DWP Life & Work Coach to wipe my arse all the time. Seems so but they don`t want to wipe my arse.

  27. Do you get sanctioned having a shit on the Jobcentres floor !!

  28. same with middle class teachers and working class kids!!!!

  29. overburdenddonkey

    why don’t mind advocate the work of dr bob johnson, if they are so concerned about MH?

    • Because they are more concerned about having a salary and feathering their own nest than they are about people actually getting fixed up and well.

      Just like the other huge charities. They have lost sight of their original purpose and now live off the backs of those they should be helping.

      It will take a huge paradigm shift for the MH industry to accept that people can heal, but little the MH industry provides for troubled individuals does anything other than keep the troubled, troubled.

  30. National Mind, Rethink, SANE – they are all the same, towing the line whilst people are killing themselves because of WCA, benefit cuts, sanctions & delays. Its a disgrace that they do not speak out against the erosion of the welfare state. Shame on them!…

  31. And the New Front in the Attack on the Workless is revealed by the ConCons:


    Next up, youre workless? Dying? You’re not dead yet! Plantayion Foreman whip his ass back to the fields/Workhouse…

  32. Our political class come from an education system of aristocratic culture within public school and Oxford and Cambridge universities. All parties. Even The Greens, whose voter bloc are young folk with good salaries.

    This has gone on for 1000 years since 1066 AD and the coming of The Normans.

    If you want to clear out this political class, there is a way by a unique set of circumstances in this election.

    This is a vote or starve general election.

  33. Firstly, I certainly think you’ve got a point. I’m sympathetic to the sentiment that larger charities, however proactive they are in terms of recruiting people with real lived experience, Mind included, can become remote from the people they represent. And too many of the policy and campaigns teams of larger charities are staffed by people for whom penury and destitution from vicious, punitive measures like sanctions would never really become a reality.

    But also to point out that frontline services are all provided by local Mind associations, which are independent charities, affiliated to Mind (the national charity) by signing up to a broad set of principles (not policy or campaigns specifics). Local Minds have their own finances, boards of trustees, and strategic plans; they recieve no automatic funding from National Mind. I’ve been involved with one such local organisation for several years who emphatically do not subscribe to the principle that people are always better off working. National Mind (who do the policy and campaigns work) wouldn’t be able to tender for a contract like you mention (and FWIW, despite your entirely legitimate misgivings, I honestly don’t think they would).

    I’m biased – a local mind fought for me all the way. I went to them on my arse and they sorted my ESA appeal, did all the corespondence, made sure I didn’t lose my flat, and represented me in person at tribunal. They even made sure I got hot meals. Most importantly they never, ever suggested that I ‘should’ be working and actively acknowledged the corrosive impact of the red top rhetoric on my mental health. It was all framed in terms of me accessing my rights. BUT, that’s just one Miind association. There are hundreds – each independently run, each with their own projects and priorities, each with their own scruples.

    Sorry for the essay, but essentially I wanted to say 1. Fair point, but also 2. Not every Mind is the same – every one will have it’s Annual Report available (most will probs be online) if you want to check out what your local Mind is doing.

  34. The latest I read today is obese people, drug & alcohol addicts, and anyone for that matter who is deemed “treatable” will have their benefits sanctioned if they don’t engage in that “treatment”. The Tories believe this will be a vote winner and will become policy if they are re-elected.

    • The truly independent DAME CAROL BLACK.

      The independent review is being jointly led by Dame Carol Black and David Frost CBE; andon 18 October 2010, a representative from UNUM Provident, who was part of a delegation from the UK Rehabilitation Council, met with the Minister for Welfare Reform and department officials.

    • Wouldn’t it be wonderful to take the Tories at face value – and believe that this proposed policy would at long last see proper help and treatment made available! No more languishing on waiting lists for months on end. Funding provided to increase rehab provision for addicts (dealing with the psychological dependency as well as the physical addiction). Massive increase in mental health funding – to provide this treatment that the Tories wish people to “engage” with. Increase in the number of mental health beds in hospitals. Increase in specialist mental health/psychiatric hospitals. Prompt access to mental health help. Somehow I don’t see any of this happening….

  35. Actually Mind helped me i couldn’t go outside alot i was so depressed i staarted to volunteer at the mind charity shop and it helped me with my depression , they dont force people in to work and they are helping peopl to have a place to build up your confidence and feel part of the community, people need to get off there high horse mind try and do as much as they can to help people .

    The problem is the that the gov are telling the charitys it okay we will rely on u guys in stead of sorting it out ourselfs.
    Mind has saved many lifes including mine so , just think before trashong a charity which main goal is to help people .

    • overburdenddonkey

      i have thought about it long and hard…for most of my 63 yrs of life in fact, having suffered severe childhood abuse..and mostly being blamed (held responsible) for the GIVEN symptoms of such that i suffered…so i do speak with the utmost authority on the subject…and yes there are like myself some very caring people out there who want to make a difference to peoples lives…all communities suffer if others suffer…the cure is available, why is it not advocated, by rethink/mind etc and this is a matter for all to consider…
      if i can heal, others can too…

  36. I have volunteered for Mind locally and most staff and volunteers know it is not simply a matter of work will do you good. There have been problems between them and government policy before, and with the central body trying to formulate and dictate policy. They help a lot and personally I would never simply dismiss them out of hand.

  37. Pingback: Middle Class Solutions To Working Class Problem...

  38. I’ve got two words for those who won’t put up with us rich people asking the poor to give to charidee while we never donate anything: fuck off.

    • I must say you have gone down hill recently Bob; when you were on Sky Nooz recently mouthing off you could easily have been mistaken for a scarecrow.

  39. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    In this impassioned post, Johnny Void takes Paul Farmer, the head of the mental health charity, Mind, to task for buying into the false medical consensus that any kind of work is good for you. Mr Void is careful to point out that MIND as an organisation does some great work, with very caring and genuinely helpful, hard-working frontline workers. But they’re led by managers on salaries of hundreds of thousands of pounds, are insulated from the realities of mental illness, and only know what they hear from other, upper middle class people, who share their prejudices about malingerers. He is particularly critical of MIND’s suggestion that sensitive information about a claimant’s mental health should be passed on to the workfare providers, like A4E and G4S. They also want the Fit to Work service now run by Maximus, to involve claimants’ employers. At the heart of this new scheme is a suggestion that the government should set up a specialist service for people with mental health problems. Mr Void suggests that this is, basically, a job advert aimed at getting a future Labour government to employ them in a specialist capacity.
    Put simply, Farmer’s trying to get more work for his organisation, while totally misrepresenting the realities of mental illness. The mentally ill people I know stopped working because they simply couldn’t face it, not because they didn’t feel like it. And it certainly wasn’t a case of ‘I don’t think I’ll go in tomorrow’. And they genuinely felt guilty and humiliated because they couldn’t work. Furthermore, as Mr Void has repeatedly pointed out, there are jobs out there that will drive people nuts, especially those at the bottom of the ladder. That’s been shown by stats from the Civil Service, for heaven’s sake. How ignorant can Farmer be? Obviously, about as ignorant as the rest of his class, who stopped listening to evidence and logic long ago, and only now pay attention to anything that confirms their own prejudices about the proles.

    • overburdenddonkey

      people with mhp’s need to focus on healing, NOT be distracted by working or searching for work….all this does is to cause shame and humiliation, blames the victim…
      to heal from mhp’s one needs sanctuary and truth….
      sole focus DISTRACTIONS ie work focus, drugs, and cbt, etc from mhp’s, cures nothing and worsens mhp’s…healing must be the focus of people with mhp’s and nothing else…

    • beastrabban,

      I would add at the end, “and put money in his nice HSBC ‘taxed’ overseas account”

  40. Any work is good for you… !

  41. Vote for CLASS WAR!!


      (please refrain from laughing)

      Re Facilitators
      Facilitators are not required to hold a formal recognised qualification. They are all trained in
      facilitation skills.

      Re Role Players
      Atos Healthcare use experienced actors to perform the role-play for interviewee scenarios.
      Actors are not required to have any training other than “role play” for this activity. They act the
      role play scenarios which are approved by Atos Healthcare trainers.

      ……………………….. You could have Pudsey Bear wearing a spotted handkerchief over one
      eye pretending to be blind but this is not real, one to one

      ……………….the atos wca results are then passed to a DWP Decision Maker who will make an expert opinion………….

      • …………….further to this wealth of experience, the claimant would probably emerge as a hidden mortality statistic, ignored and betrayed by the system that should have lived up to it’s name……….”WELFARE”

  42. Fit For Work – three pronged assault on the NHS, social security and civil liberties, the shift from social welfare to a corporate welfare system where the citizen is the facilitator or stock of the transaction between state and corporation. Look beyond the conditioned sentimentality of the charity as good guy, this is exactly the model MIND are pathfinding.

    A society that legislates for ALL of its citizens to be Fit For Work will progress quickly to delegitimizing and dehumanising all its “able-bodied” poor and unemployed – disability will be an irrelevance.

  43. This is a really ggod piece but it is not quite accurate about Mind. Having worked for them I would really separate National Mind and the local Mind associations.
    National Mind, like NSUN, will never bite the hand that feeds it. Besides Paul Farmer who came form Rethink has always been pro medical model whatever he claims.
    Local Mind associations have front line workers and an army of volunteers without the whole edifice would crumble. They do the work, they deal with users and survivors on a daily basis, including weekends and the workers are usually paid less than regional averages…
    These charities often follow the let’s be reasonable mantra, let’s accept compromises, let’s work from the inside to change things… which never works especially when what is required is far more than a little tweak here and there..
    This is also one of th reasons why the user movement and the mental health charities in this country have become so complacent about daily abuses by psychiatry and successive government policies.

    • overburdenddonkey

      i flatly condemn any org that advocates pharm drugs and cbt (behaviourism)…management and control of symptoms rather than healing the cause…

      Click to access 176_16-18.pdf

      “Psychiatry today is a dismal medical failure”. This is the conclusion I reached when writing my book on the scientifically proven impact of psychiatric drugs. I eventually titled the book “Unsafe at any dose”, because that is what the published evidence proves beyond a peradventure.’
      see also the work of joanne moncrieff ‘the myth of the chemical cure’…
      compromise in mhp care and treatment, causes festering/embedding of symptoms, and actually worse than doing nothing from the start of symptom awareness by/of child, we’re not machines….in fact most children and some adults who are left alone and given true sanctuary, away from the abuse(s), recover under their own steam…punishing symptoms (to force change) makes them worse, and is, in denial, buck passing…
      recovery is a process of getting back in touch with/recovering one’s true nature..the healing hands of kindness…love, empathy, and compassion..

      • Hi I do know the work of J. Montcrieff…. and have met her at a conference where I was also presenting. The trouble with a lot of these high profile people, like her, and others, is that there is always a “yes, but” somewhere at some point. They never go far enough which is how we end up with a culture of compromises. CBT is best described as “dressage” and this current govt practices it all the time through its social engineering approach to anythig that does not fit its ideology.

        • overburdenddonkey

          yeah i agree,with what you’re saying….people find the truth very shocking..
          dr bob does speak, out as do i…cbt is often excused as a bridge to this healing truth…unbeknownst that cbt takes one away from healing and into deeper denial… there is a very good example of her with dr bob in a vid clip on his web site, with a ‘yeah but’ from her, it wasn’t a helpful moment @ all…but he didn’t edit it out like some would….the message of his work is very difficult to get across for those reasons…people often call us nutters, liars, charlatans, lunatics etc etc…i get it a lot….but how else does the message get out there, that a 100% cure is available unless it is posted…? LOL 🙂

  44. The man from HSBC has slipped out of the back door…
    Never mind “Look over there, a squirrel”…

    Obese, and folks with addictions are to be clobbered with more stress, says fat dave. Nothing like a good ol bit of distraction, from what’s really going on.

    Free council house anyone!!

  45. GEOFF is right about the ‘spam filter’ on this site – it is a heap of shit!

  46. IDS/McVey/Freud – What a sick fucking running joke they are.

    Architect of the misery every benefit claimant is stuck with, Proven lies they have brazenly told to the House of Commons, The Public, News Media and The Public Accounts Committee for Work and Pensions.

    What’s it gonna take to get these idiots out off office and barred for running as an MP again?

  47. It’s important to always be cynical about charities and their agendas. Many are nothing more than fronts to allow the wealthy elite to push their own agenda, others are simply self serving corporate entities.

    Neo-liberalism has many things to answer for; the corruption of the concept of “charity” is just one of them.

    Now lets all get back to blaming the obese for the state of the ecomomy.


    …………singlehandedly representing the views of the private health insurance industry, whilst adding victims to the hidden DWP mortality statistics………………

    please note/ Gunnyeon has now jumped ship to MAXIMUS……..

    Association of British Insurers in partnership with UNUM and AXA PPP Healthcare.


    Dialogue panel includes;

    Dame Carol Black
    James McGarry CEO UNUM
    Bill Gunnyeon CBE (DWP)

    Link to this

    • 11/ Would sanctions be used against any poor person who turns to
      cannibalism in the event the scheme fails?

      A good one, but it could come to that as you know.

  49. Social housing tenants at a new multi-million pound development have been told to keep off a section of grass because it is reserved for the owners of the building’s luxury apartments.

    Tenants residing in the 43 affordable flats at the new One Tower Bridge complex in Southwark, London, will not be allowed on the development’s ‘podium garden’ when it is completed in 2017.

    Property developer Berkeley Homes was granted permission to ban all tenants from the special area, unless they pay an additional service, during a Southwark Council planning committee meeting.


  50. Johnny

    Could you PM me please – need some advice as I have just come across something very very interesting. [Not urgent]



  51. Lottery awards £5 million for user-led independent living research

    DNS – 13th Feb 2015

    Four of the UK’s leading pan-disability organisations have secured £5 million in lottery funding for a major series of research projects on independent living.

    The Big Lottery Fund has given the money to Disability Action Northern Ireland, and its research partners Disability Rights UK, Disability Wales and Inclusion Scotland, for the Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) project.

    The four partners said the project would “significantly strengthen our future capacity to influence decision making about independent living” and would “inform the policies, manifestos and campaigns of the disability sector for many years to come”.

    The project will be spread over the next five years, with research carried out both across the UK and in each of the four countries.

    The first task will be to work with disabled people and their organisations to decide on research priorities.

    Read More:

  52. Life in the PIP queue: Woman’s ‘wicked’ 14-month wait… just to be assessed

    DNS – 13th Feb 2015

    A disabled woman has told how she has been forced to wait more than 14 months to be assessed for the government’s new disability benefit, just days after a Tory minister praised his own performance in cutting waiting-times.

    Hannah Wells, from Ascot, Berkshire, told Disability News Service (DNS) that she put in her application for personal independence payment (PIP) in November 2013, with her claim logged by Atos Healthcare early the following month.

    It is the longest wait yet by a PIP claimant to be reported by DNS.

    She has already had two assessments at the Atos centre in Reading cancelled this year – the first one in January 2015, and the second one this week – because of staff sickness.

    And she has been told by Atos that she is “not the only one waiting for an assessment from 2013”.

    Read More:

  53. ‘Hypocrite’ Cameron ‘is breaching UN convention’ with inaccessible office

    DNS – 13th Feb 2015

    The prime minister has been accused of “hypocrisy” after admitting that his constituency office in Oxfordshire is not accessible to many disabled people.

    The office in High Street, Witney, is on the first floor of a building with no lifts, a situation that appears to be a clear breach of article 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

    Cameron is the most high-profile MP so far to be exposed by Disability News Service (DNS) for publicly calling for more to be done to make society accessible to disabled people, while privately running a constituency office that prevents disabled people from participating in politics.

    The admission from Cameron’s office has angered disabled activists appalled by another example of government double-standards on disability.

    Read More:

  54. “Much of the early part of the report is taken up by calling for improvements in the working environment for people suffering mental ill-health” Many people with mental health problems can’t cope with ‘the workplace’. They always mention it as if people have to go ‘out there’ to work when the reality is that many – if they can work at all – could only do so from home.

  55. Another Fine Mess

    * * * IBS Warning * * *
    The Andrew Marr Show Sunday 9 am.

  56. This ‘arbeit macht frei’ MINDset has to be challenged WHENEVER it rears its ugly and murderous head.

    The problem is that any discussion of disability and work seems to become sidetracked by the issues facing the roughly 50% of sick or disabled people who are fortunate enough to *currently* feel themselves to be fit-for-work.

    In such discourses, there always seems to be the unspoken implication that the OTHER 50% – those of us whose health has deteriorated beyond the point of no return – must be somehow malingering, or failing to think positively enough. We are patronisingly told that everyone “must be” able to do something – as with the notorious claim from Atos that a paraplegic should be forced to press a button all day long with his one functioning finger.

    Many of us with disabilities – around half – will NEVER work again, so if the sole purpose of human existence is to toil and make money for the rich, then this relegates us to being the ‘useless eaters’ that previous fascist regimes have condemned us as.

    Do these chattering charity do-gooders intend to explicitly push the euthenasia policies that are the logical conclusion of such unbalanced enphasis on work? If not, then MIND needs to remember that the measure of a civillised society is how it treats its most vulnerable, and start vigorously challenging the cruel and facile dogma of ‘work for all’, rather than spouting it.

  57. I worked for Mind for 6 months, and handed my notice in without another job to go to because it was so, so awful. This was a big deal because unlike several of my erstwhile colleagues I do not have parents who are either willing or able to support me financially well into adulthood.

    I was bullied by my manager on a daily basis, to the point where I would spend most evenings at home crying, could barely get the energy to leave the house on weekends and piled loads of weight on through comfort-eating. My probation was extended on entirely spurious grounds, including the number of occasions I had been ‘inexplicably absent’- which included the three days I was off work after I was hit by a car on my way to work one morning. I was introduced to a whole heap of ‘competency frameworks’ that I had apparently failed, but I wasn’t aware that these things existed before I was informed I didn’t measure up. I was also removed from one of my main responsibilities after she made me cry in my ‘probation review’ because she said I was not stable enough to do the job.

    So working for a mental health charity actually did tremendous damage to my mental health. I have never, ever been as unhappy as I was working there, and the thought of National Mind running services is fucking terrifying. Some of the Local Mind services, run by frontline staff who are empathetic and experienced are excellent, but the people in the head office are patronising, middle class bullies.

  58. Just been watching IDS on the Andrew Marr show and he wouldn’t say where the nine billion of savings from the welfare bill will come from. His comments about work coaches staying with a person who is working part time would put me off part time work for ever. From now on it’s full time or no time for me.

  59. Iain Duncan Smith MP

    Scroungers who won’t get help make me furious!!!!

    We are working for you.

    The Rt. Hon. Iain Duncan Smith MP, Secretary of State for Work & Pensions

  60. I don’t see the problem, seeking work and actually getting a job should be part of the process of getting well…I’ve been there…suicidal anxiety and fear about getting a job, or even going to the Jobcentre, but, ultimately, it is that process that contributed greatly, in my case, to me getting better. I could still be sitting at home feeling sorry for myself and never achieved anything…but in increments looking for work and gaining employment is more positive than negative.

    Sure, it was daunting at the time, I think the approach by DWP where everyone is considered a malingerer is incorrect, when you are mentally ill the moment you see the word “work” on any piece of paper can make you panic or even feel suicidal…heck, I used to go to interviews at the JC with materials on my person to turn me into a human torch if they forced me to do anything against my will…I even took them to my subsequent appeals at the various Tribunals…

    The real problem is, we don’t take mental health that seriously in the UK, and we certainly don’t have enough professionals to deal with it, personally, I think that once someone is listed as having mental health issues, then empathic sensitive specialists employed by the DWP-and not on targeted bonuses- should be constructing programs to gain confidence and get people into work.

    I see absolutely no reason why anyone who is able to breath unaided and capable of thinking and operating a car or computer shouldn’t be working. I have a 25 year-old nephew who has never worked, he knows how to buck the system, he says he will never work, he says he can’t work, yet he will be on Skype talking to people on the other side of the world for hours, he’ll play some stupid computer game for days on end, yet he is not fit to work? He can cook, he cleans his home, yet in 7 years as an adult no one has got him anywhere near working? The guy is milking the system, and making it bad for the real mentally incapacitated…and something doe need to be done.

    • I always douse myself in petrol before entering the jobcentre and carry a lighter… 😀

    • Sorry Erique – but what is all this obsession with work anyway? Why does ‘working’ have to mean mentally healthy and ‘not working’ bad? Many people do all sorts of valuable things for themselves or others eg creative arts, voluntary work, looking after sick relatives, children but so what if they didn’t anyway? This is why I support the unconditional citizens income so we get rid of this ludicrous notion that basic rights to food and shelter are somehow connected to how you spend your time. It is the notion of force and compulsion that fills people – especially those with mental health issues – with dread and incapacitating fear. It is that very approach that has the opposite effect than intended

  61. Y’all might want to look into the ‘Behavioural Insights Team’ and an odious book called ‘Nudge’ ..


    It’s all about manipulating people to change their habits towards behaviour deemed more beneficial. It’s bullying basically.

    We DO need to understand how these people think, in order to a) avoid them b)challenge them (takes energy and effort) c) remove them from Power – takes massive grass roots solidarity and organisation. (long term work).

    As a counter, I suggest accessing the info on the ACE Study – a study of more than 40,000 people in the US in their 50s who were presenting with life threatening health issues, which discovered a direct correlation between childhood adversity and the health issue emergent in people from 40s onwards.


    Felletti’s insight into this suggests two streams of action – the obvious healing support for Survivors, and changes at a profound level in terms of how Society relates to and treats children and the most vulnerable people.

    The problem of the middle class is that it is an intentional creation of power as a buffer between it and the grass roots of society, and thus the bulk of middle class ‘stability’ comes from their well indoctrinated support of the status quo of Power as it presents itself. Democracy and all that…

  62. You see I went to work for forty one yrs seeing people outside pubs drinking early morning when going to work I had friends who never had or not many jobs through the yrs yet did I begrudge them any monies no I didn’t you playing their game yiu see they getting more off the workers than they ever did oh they tell you about austerity but for them there is none yet the money we paid into this system they dont want to pay back who are the real benefits scroungers but those in parliament you see they alot of people blind to that fact and those on benefits welcome people like me who worked paid for the rest did I worrry nah did I care that they had their off course I did but saying people swinging thelead well look at those in parliament who realy do take the p
    never even think of playing their games has you will turn on those who dont need the abuse jeff3

  63. Slave Labour is Not Therapy it is Tyranny and Oppression
    and any Support For Slave Labour is More a Moronic Consensus
    than a Medical Consensus

  64. Pingback: Obesity and the Constitution |

  65. overburdenddonkey

    great article from bella, re ping back above….

  66. Work is good for your mental health…depends what work you are doing. if you “work” is sitting on your fat backside on a ten figure salary on the backs of your workers and the tax payer then yeah that’s good for your mental health because you are doing fuck all work at all and you are happy. Tax the rich bastards.

    • The “work” you describe is only good for your mental health if you have no morals or conscience….So fine for Esther McVey, IDS, and their like. Not so good for the rest of us.

      • Yep I would say that rich people on ten figure salaries doing fuck all on the backs of taxpayers generally have no morals. Fair comment really.

  67. Pingback: Obesity and the Constitution | Alpha E-commerce

  68. Answer is either People having Common Sense in how they Vote
    or Constitutional Banning of Oppression of the Poor

    Obi Wan Kenobi | February 14, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Reply IDS/McVey/Freud – What a sick fucking running joke they are.

    Architect of the misery every benefit claimant is stuck with, Proven lies they have brazenly told to the House of Commons, The Public, News Media and The Public Accounts Committee for Work and Pensions.

    What’s it gonna take to get these idiots out off office and barred for running as an MP again?

  69. Is that realfrom IDS? Whoscrounges offthe state for his underpants despite being a millionaire? Whosubsidises hisbusiness friends (c/oworfare contracts- return to work admin, tax credits et al et al never mind the work of the other departments).Thisarticleis totally spot-on… my illness was caused by bullying bosses and unfair working conditions then made worse by the same on my attempt to return to work. ANY would be politician should be made to do a ‘national service’ as someone on the bottom of society. I REMEMBER when THIS govt (then in waiting)PROMISED free education for those who are working (anyone else?)! Oh yes-we may charge tuition fees for those ‘who can afford it’ but you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you work. OH NO!! NO FREE HIGHER EDUCATION in the UK- under ANY circs.
    Its free in Germany. Looks like we are the ones who lost the war on fascism.

  70. Pingback: Middle Class Solutions To Working Class Problem...

  71. radical redhead

    Thank you for this article. I’m so sick of mental health charities ignoring the link between depression and poverty / austerity.

    I feel so angry about this subject. People are killing themselves after finding themselves plunged into shocking poverty, their quality of life reduced to that of an animal. All human dignity removed by a faceless bureaucrat somewhere.

    To add insult to injury, out of touch and ignorant ‘mental health care professionals’ are turning a blind eye. Is it an uncomfortable truth? To talk about the link is to rock the boat it seems.

    These charities are actually part of the problem, helping to feed the culture that creates self loathing and feelings of loss of self worth within the depressed and unemployed.

    I will continue to speak up about this.

  72. Reblogged this on Mentally Wealthy and commented:
    Concerns me how much the charity needs to keep inside with Govt. All that cozying up for cash means it’s made it nigh on impossible for them to openly critise them.

    The show complete lack of empathy and understanding when condoning the sharing of private medical information, they yell anti-Sitka, but then reinforce it with such ludicrous proposals.

  73. Jeffery Davies

    There are no charities anymore they all taking slaves even mind yes its become farcical how they get away with it stacking shelves has become the norm for these charitys who blatantly say we dont sanction our slaves if they dont show up no but they phone the local jcp were they then sanctioned there isnt any charitys just a slave market jeff3

  74. I’ve worked in health and social care for nearly thrity years. proud to say I’m from a working class background, and spent my childhood in Liverpool in the 80’s. So more than a little left leaning in my personal politics.

    I’ve always questioned the middle class bias and values that some people working in mental health professions bring to their work.

    So very glad to see the title of your piece.

    Yes clearly the big mental health charities, and I’ve worked quite high up in one of them and closely with others, will be conservative in their politics.

    It wasn’t always the case, but sadly as the organisations became more “businesslike” in the nineties and noughties, I noticed the tendency creep in.

    I’m sure their “user involvement” teams would be saddened to hear that “users” don’t feel empowered enough in their organisations to have their say.

  75. Brilliant article. However, I would argue that ALL work is bad for you. When was the last time you reckon Andy Murray actually enjoyed a game of tennis?!

  76. Reblogged this on moodycrazylazy and commented:
    Excellent blog on how charities don’t fight back against cuts affecting disabled people, for fear of pissing government off. To the extent where they won’t even push vaguely politicised content from their bloggers. If only we could all switch off how government policy affects us like that…

  77. I totally agree with this. I’ve submitted content for their blogs before and there’s a ‘no political content’ policy. I wish I could avoid government policy that affects me and other disabled people in the same way they avoid politicised content. Thanks for publishing. I’ve reblogged. Solidarity.

  78. Equally the main problem with MIND is that it was meant to represent people with severe and enduring mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. But there was not enough money or public sympathy in that, so they included depression and anxiety disorders to become more mainstream and improve their appeal to the public consciousness. The charity hasn’t represented it’s ideals for decades.

  79. I havent anytime anymore for these so called charitys who are just poverty pimps who do anything just to get that government’s monies taking slaves oh we dont do that yet they still do we dont do sanctions but pick that phone up to the jcp dwp our little slave hasnt turned up yes they started the ball rolling for that your sanctioned oh we dont do that poverty pimps who lost the plot sieg hiel on the aktion t4 program of this government rolls on without much of a ado jeff3

  80. Pingback: Beta57 BiDaily Trawl February 5, 2016 – Meandering Vaguely Around Timnah

  81. Pingback: Middle Class Solutions To Working Class Problems Is Why Charities Like MIND Keep Getting It So Wrong | VeryVexed

  82. I have met people in the charity sector who are making a very smug and comfortable living whilst contributing little to the good of society. By chance, I have also met and talked to Paul Farmer, the CEO of MIND, and he made a deep impression on me as really being a sincere and admirable person. I agree with the criticism of the WCA, and have been through it myself, but whilst MIND may have it wrong on this occasion, I really think some of the criticism above suggesting they are cynical profiteers is ill-informed.

    • https://consultations.dh.gov.uk/workandhealth/consult/
      Please try and take part in this if possible by following the link. It may affect your future. They are consulting individuals as well as professionals and includes the reforming of the WCA. It is a long questionnaire so you don’t have to answer all the questions but if you don’t do anything else, please try and answer the questions on ESA…they are planning to ‘target’ those in the Support Group for some sort of Work Related Activity and it will be focussed on those with mental health and muscularskeletal illnesses. I know these consultations are often a whitewash but if none of us fill them in they’ll think we’re OK with it.
      You can do it all online anonymously but if you need to save and come back to it you need to give an email.
      Closing date: 17th February 2017
      You can find out more about it from this blog too:

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