Earlier this week SWAN were honoured to be included in a list of people, organisations and networks who received a copy of the following letter to the Shadow Minister for Mental Health.
The letter challenges and highlights the link between neoliberal politics and mental health experiences in the UK. Please take the time to read it. Please find attached the Recovery In The Bin network's 18 Key Principles, if you wish to know more.
Dear Luciana Berger - Shadow Minister for Mental Health,
We are writing to you to raise our concerns and priorities for Governmental Mental Health care and provision in the UK. We enclose the first of a number of our "position statements" that we intend to send to you.
We are a User Led Mental Health Activist Facebook Group campaigning for Social Justice and Equality in MH care and practice, with a focus on critiquing and challenging mainstream 'recovery' ideology. At the time of writing our membership stands at 474 and this is growing by the day.
We believe 'recovery' has been colonised by MH services, commissioners and policy makers. We reject the new neoliberal intrusion on the word 'recovery' that has been redefined, and taken over by marketisation, language, techniques and outcomes. Some of us will never feel "Recovered" living under these intolerable and inhumane social pressures.
We believe access to quality housing and disability benefits designed for mental health claimants would give people a stable and secure environment to raise their quality of life and health. This would enable efforts towards going back to study, work IF people choose / aspire to this. Allowing people to volunteer indefinitely and claim benefits if this improves their quality of life and MH - and recognise how valuable this work is to society.
Our first "position statement" is about the Welfare State and Social Housing.
We will cover the following issues: -
• Work Capability Assessment (WCA)
• Benefit Sanctions
• Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
• Voluntary Work
• CBT in Job Centres
• Social Housing & Homelessness
We look forward to hearing from you about the matters we have raised.
Recovery In The Bin
Copy: Jeremy Corbyn MP and Leader of Labour Party.
John McDonnell MP and Shadow Chancellor.
Owen Smith MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
Mental Health Resistance Network.
Social Workers Action Network (SWAN).
Psychologists Against Austerity.
Critical Mental Health Nursing Network (CMHNN).
Critical Psychiatry Network.
Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).
The Peoples Assembly.