Monday, July 17, 2017

Austerity creating mental health problems

Rates of severe anxiety and depression among unemployed people have soared by more than 50 per cent in the last four years as the impact of “harsh” austerity policies take their toll, The Independent revealed. The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) said the Government’s reforms of welfare payments were to blame for the rise, as benefit cuts and sanctions “are having a toxic impact on mental health”.

“The devastating impact of the benefits cap for families with children, the freezing of benefits at a time of inflation, and the cutting of benefits for the disabled are putting claimants under terrible mental and financial strain,” said Janet Weisz, the UKCP’s chief executive. “The constant threat of benefit sanctions only adds to the pressure...While investing in treatment is essential, we must also tackle the societal causes,” 
Another charity that supports people in the benefits system, Turn2Us, said “those seeking our help regularly tells us that being unemployed impacts on their mental health. They also tell us that changes to the welfare benefits system, particularly reductions in benefits and sanctions, have not only made it harder to cope financially but psychologically as well,” said a charity spokesperson. It can be very difficult for someone who has been unemployed for a while to find a new job, and struggling with their mental health makes it all the harder for them.”

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