Welfare system reform causes concern

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REFORM of the welfare system is steaming ahead and already we’re hearing about the devastating effects this is having on the mental health of hundreds of thousands of people across Great Britain.

While much is made of the impact that changes to benefits will have on people with physical disabilities, it is vital that those with ‘invisible’ issues such as mental health problems are not forgotten.

Reassessments of people on incapacity benefit (IB) via the deeply flawed work capability assessment are due to start this month, just one of the changes already alarming many people affected by mental ill-health.

The prospect of IB reassessment is causing huge amounts of distress, and tragically there have already been cases where people have taken their own life following problems with changes to their benefits.

Many are hugely worried that the benefits system is heading in a direction which will put people with mental health problems under even more pressure and scrutiny.

There needs to be a shift towards a more sympathetic and supportive system that genuinely takes into account the additional challenges people with mental health problems face.

JOHN SMITHEE

Wisbech