This was in response to an aspect of the Conservative party’s election manifesto, published this week. In a nutshell, they are proposing that people who are in receipt of benefits but refuse to consent to ‘treatment’ for physical and mental health problems can have their payments reduced or stopped.
While I didn’t write it, the letter does a fairly nice job of summarising my feelings on the matter. I’m very happy to have my name attached to it. While I have my own political opinions, I would have signed the letter no matter which party had suggested this.
The NHS – and particularly mental health – are becoming bigger political talking points and bargaining chips than ever before. That’s generally a good thing. But it’s imperative that we remain critical and wary of the implications of policy changes for people on the ground.
I feel that – as you no doubt can guess from my initial blog post – it’s vital for everyone to make their feelings on issues like this known, to ensure that the needs of the vulnerable people in our society aren’t forgotten or ignored.
And for goodness sake, register to vote NOW (you have until Monday!) and make your voice heard on 7th May.
I also feel compelled to direct interested parties to this blog entry from Alex Langford, a very vocal psychiatrist on Twitter. Additionally, a few psychologists who teach on the Lancaster course are contributing to The Conversation’s analysis of different party manifestos. The discussions on the Tory and the Green Party’s manifestos are well worth a read.