18 May 2017: Nine in ten people with mental health problems experience a deterioration after being sanctioned

Nine in ten people with mental health problems experience a deterioration after being sanctioned

New statistics from Mind also show that three in five people with mental health problems who are sanctioned thought the process made them less likely to get a job

Nine in ten people say they suffer worsening mental health problems after a benefit sanction, according to a new survey from Mind.

The charity surveyed nearly 3,000 people with a mental health problem, almost half of which were in receipt of employment and support allowance, with 300 respondents saying they had been sanctioned, and a further 317 saying they had been threatened with a sanction. Key findings from the responses include that –

  • 90 per cent of those who had received out-of-work benefits and who had been sanctioned said that this experience had negatively affected their mental health;
  • 89 per cent of those threatened with sanctions said this had worsened their mental health; and
  • 60 per cent of those who had been sanctioned said that the measure had made them less likely to get a job.

Commenting on the statistics, chief executive of Mind Paul Farmer said –

‘These statistics provide further evidence to show how the benefits system is not just failing people with mental health problems, but actively working against them. We’ve long been calling for a stop to punitive measures such as sanctions, which only serve to push people with mental health problems even further into poverty and further from their hope of finding work. Treating people with suspicion and stopping their financial support when they’re unable to do the things that are asked of them is cruel and ineffective. Instead we want to see more voluntary, tailored support which works with people to identify their unique skills, ambitions and barriers to getting and staying in work.’

For more details see People with mental health problems made more unwell by benefits system from mind.org.uk

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