Song Of Life - Work Capability Assessments Cause Suffering

Work Capability Assessments cause suffering for the mentally ill

People suffering from mental health problems are often the most vulnerable when seeking help. Mental health can have a major impact on work, housing, relationships and finances. The Work Capability Assessments (WCA) thus present a particular challenge to those suffering mental illness. The mentally ill also are often the least able to present their case. Staff involved in assessments lack sufficient expertise or training to understand mental health issues and how they affect capability.

...It is a sobering statistic that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year. It is often quoted, but it is not a cliché; it is based on sound evidence obtained from several studies.

The impact of mental health problems are often exacerbated by the social and economic environment. Periodic hospitalisation may have impact on housing and jobs and on maintaining contacts in the community. All these problems can create instability. It is a time when help within the community can be of greatest benefit to maintain that stability. Financial problems can be acute because of periodic or long term inability to work. Financial help is a vital part of care in the community, enabling people with mental health problems to lead as stable life as possible.

The government should think again about the way in which WCA has been set up and is operating...

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