Making sense of universal credit, PIP and more… Know Your Rights at RightsNet.Org
The team behind the rightsnet adviser website have put together a series of useful, free and easy-to-use web tools designed to support people who want to find out more about their benefit rights.
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Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind opened its doors to the Somalian community on Wednesday 9th May 2018 to raise awareness and break down the walls of stigma which have contributed to the suffering mental ill health in silence. In particular, the workshop focussed on stress management and coping strategies.
The talk was delivered by Xiishod, a group set up to combat mental health stigma in the Somali community. Xiishod means ‘ shame/shyness’ in Somali and is a word that encapsulates how many in this community have been made to feel when trying to broach issues about their mental health. Xiishod helps to spread awareness of mental helth and wellbeing to the Somali community and to other ethnic minority groups.
A wonderful and informative day was had by all ! We’d like to say a huge thank you to Xiishod for coming along to deliver such an important workshop.
“Everyone who attended the workshop was very thankful and asked me to pass on their thanks. I also would like to say a big thank you, to you and everyone at the Tooting Hub. If it was not for all of you such an informative and valuable workshop would not have been possible”
Every 1st February, mental health organisations come together for ‘Time to Talk’ day – a national day of raising awareness and breaking down the stigmas surrounding mental health, pioneered by Time to Change.
On this day, we encourage people to be open with the people in their lives about the problems they are experiencing. Whether it be your spouse, a friend or even your boss, talking to someone about how you are feeling is the first step to understanding you don’t need to suffer in silence and that you are not alone.
Non-judgmental help and support is out there for you. It is advisable to speak to your GP if you notice that you have felt unusual for a while. Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind also offer a range of services for those concerned about their mental wellbeing and we are always happy to advise you.
On 22 December 2017 the High Court ruled that changes to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) earlier in the year are ‘blatantly discriminatory’ against people with mental health problems and ‘cannot be objectively justified’.
In February, the Government introduced regulations that limited the amount of support that people who struggle to make journeys because of psychological distress could get through PIP.
At the time the Government said that people in this group had fewer support needs than other disabled people who struggle to make journeys. The High Court ruling found that this amounted to no more than subjective opinion with no evidence to back up such a claim.
If this ruling stands then more than 160,000 people with mental health problems will be entitled to additional support from PIP.
The case was brought by the Public Law Project on behalf of their client RF. Mind intervened in the case alongside the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Paul Farmer said:
“This ruling is a significant victory for people with mental health problems. It acknowledges that the regulations discriminated against people with mental health problems and upholds the principle that PIP should look at the impact your condition has on your life, not what kind of condition you have.
If the ruling is allowed to stand then more than 160,000 people with mental health problems will be able to access the support they should have been entitled to all along. This support is what can make the difference between whether people can get to work or appointments, see friends and family and live independent lives. We are proud to have supported Public Law Project and their client RF to get these regulations overturned.
“The judgment is clear that the Government has no evidence for its claim that people who experience psychological distress need less support than other disabled people. The Government’s stance on this issue is symptomatic of all the deep concerns that we have about the benefits system as a whole – it just does not understand mental health problems and the impact they can have on a person’s life.
“The Government now needs to accept the judgment it has been given and start making sure that people who struggle to plan and make a journey because of their mental health will get the financial support they are entitled to.”
Read the judgment and find out what this will mean for people claiming PIP.
Advocacy at Tooting Hub
On the first Monday of each month highly trained and experienced advocates will be on hand to help anyone who has used mental health services to:
- develop a voice and have a say about your treatment and care
- give guidance and support to enable you to understand your rights
- ensure that where needed you can access people to speak on your behalf.
This service is available to anyone living in Wandsworth who has used mental health services.
Please see flyer for more details: ADVOCACY AT TOOTING