‘Work is good for your mental health’ says well-known Iain Duncan Smith. He should be worried about his own

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Here’s a man who doesn’t know what’s good for him – Iain Duncan Smith.

The Gentleman Ranker is about to announce yet another overhaul of the benefits system, bringing his artillery to bear on people with mental illnesses. He reckons they’re all lying about themselves and should be in one of the non-existent jobs that his government hasn’t created.

Too many people with “common” mental illnesses rely on benefits when they could be in work, Iain Duncan Smith will say on Monday in a speech designed to emphasise that work is “good for your health”.

The Work and Pensions Secretary will outline how the “simplistic” sickness benefit assessments need to be overhauled to recognise that disability and illness is not an ‘all or nothing’ scenario, and people should not be written off as incapable if they are not.

According to the DWP in 2010, depression – a mental illness – was the chief reason for claiming an incapacity benefit that year. Here’s the chart:

150824benefitclaimreasons

In his planned speech, the Ranker intends to say: “We need a system focused on what a claimant can do and the support they’ll need – and not just on what they can’t do.”

What a shame, then, that Iain Duncan Smith’s system relies on work capability ‘assessors’ who tell blatant lies about what claimants can do, and Job Centre Plus ‘advisors’ who deny them the support they need.

Are any of his supporters stupid enough to demand references to the many, many recorded instances of this behaviour?

Source: Iain Duncan Smith to announce further overhaul of disability benefits, saying: ‘Work is good for your health’ – ITV News

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32 thoughts on “‘Work is good for your mental health’ says well-known Iain Duncan Smith. He should be worried about his own

  1. Joanna

    In my opinion there is one group he will focus on next, and that looks like the support group, next he will probably say the assessors have been too generous of how many people are in it!

  2. Mr.Angry

    This man is a joke, he needs to practice what he preaches, he does not know what work is, he survives on hand outs from the tax payer and Betsy’s inherited wealth.

    Still on holiday are we Iain?

  3. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady

    Dear God is there no end to this vile man’s attacks on the vulnerable? Like a playground bully he keeps going back to punch them some more. And when he has finally finished with them … who will be next? His department is called Work and PENSIONS so there’s a clue for you.

  4. Bill Kruse

    From what they were saying on Sky News this morning it sounds more like he’s announcing the end of the Support Group. We’ll have to wait and see I suppose. Either way no doubt the real intention is to distract from the coming weekend’s announcement of the death on ESA figures which clearly terrify him, and with good reason one imagines.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      We’ll have to see how that announcement is made. Remember, the DWP has been playing with these figures for years.

  5. NMac

    Isn’t Duncan-Smith the character who admired the sign over the entrance to Auschwitz Concentration/Death Camp?

  6. Aletheia Parmenides

    If this were coming from anyone else I’d say there was some merit to it. Yes people with mental health do have skills and a lot to offer. And yes with the right support they could return to an occupation that can be managed.

    The trouble is however that his words are as ever hollow.

    It’s just been announced that mental health services have had a massive cut to funding by CCGs breaking the Tories pre-election promise of more money being spent on mental health. So that’s the support gone.

    Anyone with a section is automatically excluded from work and as far as I know that law has yet to be amended.

    A meaningless 9-5 job isn’t going to be conducive to good mental health either. It needs to be the right type of work that suits the patient and ensure that the employer is supportive with the right network in place to keep them in work and healthy.

    None of these measures exist and with funding now cut his words are once again a hollow attempt to get desperately vulnerable people off of social security with the “acceptable risk” of their demise.

    Eugenics is the Tory mantra. Off welfare at any cost even at the death of the claimant.

  7. Nuiin

    This is VERY bad news. I fear many mentally ill people will be pushed over the edge and have their conditions exacerbated, or even be driven to self-harm and suicide, if bullied, threatened and hounded in the same way that the ordinary unemployed are by arms of the DWP, e.g., Jobcentres. Mental illness is invisible (many sufferers appearing able bodied and outwardly normal) and fluctuating (sufferers having lucid days when they appear to be normal and hellish days when they are wracked by their illnesses) when drawing the next breath becomes an agony and any form of social interaction like work becomes impossible.

    With so many people available to fill every position where are the jobs and where are the employers who will offer position to persons suffering from persistent mental illness who almost certainly would be unreliable members of staff as far as attendance was concerned because of their various conditions: depressed, bi-polar and hypomanic individuals and worse will simply not be able to come into work and do anything useful whenever they fall ill. What, almost certainly will happen is the worst of all possible worlds, i.e., mentally ill people being pilloried, bullied about their jobsearch and sanctioned mercilessly by Jobcentres, while all the while having no real possibility of long-term employment ever being offered to them. The suffering of very ill people put in this impossible situation will be too much for many of them to bear.

    Iain Duncan Smith is a truly black-hearted and evil man.

  8. Ruby

    I know someone who was volunteering with me at a Community Centre. He has Borderline Personality Disorder and was institutionalised for a lot of years. When he feels stressed he reverts to self harming. This happened every 2-3 weeks, for something as simple as filling a form for his DBS check.

    ATOS declared him unfit for work for another 2 years, But still the Jobcentre called him in and told him to do a CV (another bout of self harming) and that he should look for work!
    Every letter from DWP sends him into another episode. They are putting pressure on him for no good reason

    Someone else I know was told he had 18 months to recover from a suicide attempt (not his first)

    Words fail me!

  9. Joanna

    Mike why are the DWP fighting against the death results coming out? because either way we can’t do anything about them, that would worry the bullies, the UN don’t seem to give a damn, and look how the election went, at the end of the day they still got in and therefore they have the power to change any law they choose!!! Even the queen is neutered and has no power!!!

    I’m sorry if I am sounding rude to you, but I am so tired!!!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      We can do something about them. Public opinion is a huge influence on social change and Iain Duncan Smith knows this. That’s why he is doing all he can to keep this from the public by playing down its importance.
      After we get the number of deaths, the next question is: WHY did these people die? Suicide due to cuts in benefits? Exacerbation of their health problems caused by the stress of being put through endless DWP “assessments”?
      That will also have a bearing on public opinion.
      Your opinion is overly negative. We can do a LOT.

      1. Joanna

        I’m sorry Mike but if all else fails they just turn to propaganda it’s always worked.
        On the the other hand if there are some clever lawyerly types in Labour? couldn’t they figure out a way to bring their own propaganda out and turn it upside down and turn it on the tories.

        To be a little more positive I am still going to continue to learn as much as I can and I am still going keep to the habit of my life and help others if I can by passing on what I learn.

        Thank you Mike!!

      2. Joanna

        Like you have said before, the WRAG is for those who are on the road to recovery, so no-one in that group should have died!! Those who may relapse should be in the support group.

        Have you also noticed IDS wanted to attack obesity, yet that is the lowest on the scale!!

  10. Onion

    It is true that having something to do with your day can bring a sense of achievement and a boost to self esteem. But in my experience you have to have reached a certain level of recovery before that works. I have bipolar disorder, which gives me very low mood, sometimes lasting for months. All I’m capable of doing is lying/sitting in bed, either distraught or blank. I’ve always tried to carry on working for as long as I can but there comes a point where you’re not doing yourself or the people you’re working for any good at all. People need time to recover from the worst of their depression before they’re pushed back into work.

    1. Joanna

      Depending on what you are doing, you could also put yourself and your colleagues in danger, if that happened it would cause more harm psychologically, especially to you!

  11. wildswimmerpete

    @Joanna
    That’s because that cretin Smith (together with his fellow cretins) is playing to his Daily Heil audience where obesity = laziness = skiving/shirking benefit cheater.

  12. Ian

    Isn’t it wonderful we have such an intelligent, well-qualified secretary of state, bringing his undoubtedly huge range of knowledge of mental health issues to the table and correcting the ignorant mistakes of those ignorant doctors and nurses who only trained in the subject for years?

    We truly are blessed to have such a man fighting our corner with such cast iron belief in his own brilliance.

  13. James

    In fairness Labour while in power were doing similarly stupid things. For example I remember Peter Hain and Stephen Timms replacing Sick Notes (which entitled holders to time off from work because of illness) with Fit Notes (which were supposed to specify thinks that the holder could still do while ill) and Alan Johnson talking about placing DWP representatives in Doctor’s Waiting Rooms to check whether people were entitled to sickness and disability benefits and what not. Both Labour and the Tories worked overtime to drive people of sickness benefits by hook or by crook.

    Mind you Iain Duncan Smith appears to be taking it one step further and let his Messiah Complex run riot seemingly believing that he can command the sick and disabled to pick up their beds and work.

    Personally I sincerely believe that IDS is in need of psychiatric consultation and help himself… possibly while serving a custodial sentence for manslaughter behind bars.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      My impression was that fit notes appeared during the Coalition Government so I had to look it up and you’re absolutely right – they were introduced in April 2010.
      You’re absolutely right that New Labour’s attitude to sickness and disability was as reprehensible as that of the Tories. Both parties, it seems to me, wanted to push the UK towards a privatised system of employment insurance.
      As for Iain Duncan Smith… well, we’re working on it.

  14. Claire H

    No, work is not always good for mental health. I had jobs that caused me a lot of anxiety and misery. I am one of the claimants with depression. After several years on ESA I came off it for a part time job, a job which suited my skills without too much pressure. I did like my job and I was happier, mainly because the DWP were off my back than being from working itself. After 6 months my contract was not renewed and I didn’t feel I could face reclaiming ESA: seeing a Dr, talking over my illness to get a sick note and doing the form and medical. So I claimed JSA as I was seeking another suitable role. I was already depressed but within 2 weeks I was suicidal, being treated like scum, pressurised, my illness ignored as they demanded I search for any work for 7 hours a day. Before I got my job I was in WRAG and they put pressure on as I approached 2 years in the group, threatening sanctions if I didn’t apply for paid work. I had been applying but was in a bad episode triggered by some adverse circumstances and so I was unable to apply at that time. I explained I was going through a bad phase of my illness and was told I would feel better if I got a job. I felt so depressed and anxious by this pressure that I took an overdose. There is no provision in benefit system and workplace for fluctuating conditions. And many conditions are fluctuating. Myself and many people with a mental illness can be very functional sometimes but completely incapable at others. This is not something employers are prepared to tolerate, especially with plenty of able bodied people seeking work.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’s true – work isn’t always good for mental health. One of my journo jobs – more than a decade ago – caused my doctor to diagnose me with depression (the one and only time I’ve ever been said to have that condition), so I agree with you.
      But then, Iain Duncan Smith got the idea that work is good for your health from the gates of Auschwitz. Need I say more?

  15. amnesiaclinic

    This is very, very cruel and heartless. No surprises there. The only way to protect yourself and those you know is to get into small support groups of 5 or so with someone who has experience of being an advocate for mental health issues and help offer as much health and support as you can to each other while maintaining links over food, money and appeals.
    We have to help each other as nowt is coming from those who should be doing so.
    At another level, as someone said, those with legal expertise need to come to the fore and put together class actions and challenges as Mike is doing all down the line.
    Don’t make it easy for the ba**ar*s.
    We need everyone’s creativity and gifts.
    x

  16. mrmarcpc

    IDS, like all the Tories don’t have a hard day’s work in them, they wouldn’t know what hard work was if it came along and booted them up their arses, time this lazy b*****d was made to find a real job! Again the mentally ill are a target and will be bullied, pushed and kicked around looking for non-existent jobs and will make their illnesses even worse than what they already are, but that’s his and their plan, get them so distressed, increase their suffering, despair and pain and become so upset that they take their lives so he has no benefits to pay out, simple, that’s the tory thinking about all of this!

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