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The Burden

September 13, 2009

Daphne Merkin writes a brilliant account of depression which I can relate to, except for the fact that she is monied and I am not.  This difference makes me think of the punishment that New Labour;Shower of Shit inflicts on unemployed depressed people in the UK with their particularly nasty procedures, which will only increase with the implementation of planned welfare reform

Depression and mental ill-health is a topic much discussed by the bean counters in Whitehall, because of the cost of sick people to the GDP and also because of the cost to the treasury coffers paying out benefits.  Obviously the personal cost in terms of lost years to depression, lost lives to suicide, are not of much interest to the bean counters. 

Anybody trying to access mental health services for themselves or on behalf of another will find that  the services offered are woefully inadequate, and the process of accessing services further damages vulnerable people.  Whitehall’s short-term thinking dictates that the cheapest (and therefore most attractive) method to deal with depression is to dish out pills, and an occasional referral onto a long waiting list for a quick-fix 6 session cosh of CBT

Indications are that the number of people with mental ill-health will continue to increase steadily, from the current estimates which are undoubtably low.  Looking at the thinking of today’s batch of  bean counters in the Department of Health shows the same old same old.  The new big think is The New Horizons consultation which ‘aims to help come up with an approach to make services for adults with mental health problems better in the future, and to help everyone have better mental health’.  Curiously, there is absolutely no discussion as to WHY our mental health is declining, WHY we are ill.  Could this be because the bean counters are making us ill?  That the society that we have created is fundamentally ill, and increasingly it is this creation which makes us ill. 

Rather than positing depression and mental ill-health as a financial burden to the state, enabling bean counters to relish in widespread punishment to reduce the burden to the state, a Government approach which examines why the burden of mental ill-health is forced onto it’s population would not only be fairer and kinder, but also begin to unravel what it is that the population needs in order to be healthy and productive. 

Oh look, I’ve found an article which begins to discuss just this, and it certainly isn’t written by New Labour; Shower of Shit!  Oh look, another example taking the same approach in a different direction.  In fact, google “capaitalism and mental ill-health” and have a look for yourself.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 14, 2009 02:33

    It sounds like “welfare reform” in the UK is as much of a step backwards as our “welfare reform” was here in the US.

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