MHNE is a consortium of Voluntary Community Sector organisations working to improve service provision for people suffering mental distress.
Image: Between a Thing and a Thought, Susan Aldworth, 2000, collagraph print 20 x 20cms. Courtesy of the artist and GV Art, London
Mental Health North East (MHNE) has welcomed the intervention of Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham in the debate on mental health held today (May 16) in the House of Commons.
Mr Jones raised the charity?s concerns that the work capability assessments (WCAs) carried out for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by Atos are still not suitable for people with mental health problems.
Mental Health North East is deeply concerned about the impact of Atos WCAs, which we believe are not fit for purpose for people with mental health problems,? said Lyn Boyd, CEO MHNE.
Have you had your Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) sanctioned and/or gone through a Work Capability Assessment by Atos?? We would like to hear from you.
MHNE's initial ESA survey completed by MHNE Member Organisations attracted a number of responses expressing grave concerns about the entire ESA process and in particular the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), which is carried out by Atos and determines if someone is fit for work. During an award winning and well received speech in Parliament (14 June 2012) Kevan Jones MP (North Durham) referred to specific case studies (prepared by MHNE) of people being wrongly found fit for work, but who have since gone on to win their ESA appeal. Read more here
As part of Mental Health Awareness week organisations and individuals from across the North East came together for the first ever Parliamentary Outreach debate on mental health at Middlesbrough Teaching and Learning Centre today. The event was hosted by leading mental health charity Mental Health North East in conjunction with the Parliamentary Outreach team. In attendance were the following MPs: Kevan Jones, North Durham, Andrew McDonald, Middlesbrough, Ian Swales, Redcar and Graeme Morris, Easington. The event was chaired by Lyn Boyd, CEO of Mental Health North East, and Vice Chair of Mental Health North East, Alisdair Cameron represented the views of mental health service users and carers. Representatives from youth groups Change Ur Mind and the Youth Parliament voiced their concerns to MPs about the lack of investment in mental health services for young mental health service users. [more]