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Sandwell Council's Cabinet was met by a noisy lobby of forty people calling on councillors to keep the Spon Lane Children's Home open. The Cabinet received a report on 12th June proposing the closure of the last remaining Council provided Children's Home in Sandwell. The closure will mean the loss of over 15 posts.
You may have seen or heard the furore following the British Psychological Society’s call for a new approach to our understanding of mental health. It was on the front page of the Observer on May 12th and discussed the next day on Radio 4’s Start the Week. The BPS argues that there is no scientific evidence for the diagnosis of psychiatric conditions such as bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia. This raises all sorts of important and difficult issues and resonates with discussions we have been having in SWAN about how we see and work with ‘mental health’.
In just under two weeks Isabel and Sarah Counihan Sanchez will be speaking at the SWAN Conference 2013 in the 'Alternative social care futures: radical social work in practice' session. Their story is told in this excellent short video which covers their struggle for housing and their institutional abuse by a local authority in the feverish grip of austerity (in this case, the London Borough of Brent). The Counihan Sanchez family's experiences are just one example of the injustice and brutality being suffered by working people simply wanting a roof over their heads both in London and across the UK. This is true across Europe and internationally too, as house and rent prices have skyrocketed to absurd levels, benefitting private landlords and property speculators at the expense of working people. Where there is injustice, however, there is resistance - a good example is the Platform for Mortgage Affected People (PAH) movement in Spain (there is a great feature on this in the latest edition of New Internationalist magazine).
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