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Mental Health Resistance Network Posts

PIP Fightback: National Day of Action Against PIP 13th July #PIPFightBack

Join the Thunderclap for the day of action

Callout poster for the central London protest – there will be many others around the country – check at the bottom of this page for one near you, if there isn’t – why not organise one?
Callout poster for the central London protest – there will be many others around the country – check at the bottom of this page for one near you, if there isn’t – why not organise one?

PIP Fightback

National Day of Action Against PIP

Wednesday 13th July 2016


Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the replacement for Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Whilst DLA worked to provide support for the extra costs of being disabled, and the system worked well, the whole PIP system is rotten to the core.

The whole purpose of making the change from DLA to PIP is to remove people’s entitlements to the vital support which DLA provided to help enable disabled people to live a life on more even terms with non disabled people.

With the PIP assessment regime now in place, thousands of people have already lost out and reports of the shoddy nature of the assessments are growing every week. Whilst the success rate at tribunal is high, it is taking up to 6 months or longer for cases to be heard – leaving disabled people struggling

Atos and Capita are making a killing from conducting sham PIP assessments which are seeing thousands of legitimate claimants having their benefits refused, their incomes slashed and their motability cars removed.

PIP Fightback Social Media MemeIt is time to step up the fight and to demand that the corporate assessors #DoNoHarm. There are PIP ‘consultation’ Centres across the country. If you cannot find a protest listed in your town or city, why not set one up.

If you decide to do so, please email and we will advertise your event.

This is also a good way to meet others who have had enough and to form resistance in your local area. This day of action has been called jointly by Mental Health Resistance Network, Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and WinVisible – women with visible & invisible disabilities

There will also be an online action announced nearer the time for people who can’t get to a direct action

List of actions:

These will be updated as more are set up – so keep checking back

Location Organising Group Address of Protest Start Time Event Page Contact
London DPAC,MHRN, Winvisible Capita PLC 71 Victoria Street London, SW1H 0XA 1:15 pm
Ipswich DPAC Suffolk PIP Consultation Centre,
Unit 3,
Duke St
Suffolk, IP3 0BF
11:30 am Martin Tolley,
Leicester DPACLeicester; DEAEP Wellington House, 29 Albion St, Leicester. LE1 6GD 11:00 am Jayne Linney
Glasgow Glasgow DPAC The Bridge 348 – 382 Argyle Street Glasgow G2 8LX. 12:30pm Marion Nisbet
Sheffield Sheffield DPAC
 Manchester  Manchester DPAC PIP Consultation Centre, Units 1 & 2, The Brewery Yard, Deva City Office Park, Trinity Way, Manchester, M3 7BB (for Sat Nav M3 7BD) 12:00 pm
 London (Vauxhall) Mental Health Resistance Network  Vauxhall PIP consultation Centre, 65 Sancroft Street SE11 5NG 10.30 am – noon
 Brighton  Brighton DPAC  PIP Assessment Centre, Crown House, 21, Upper North St, Brighton BN1 3EP  12 noon until 2.30pm Miriam Binder
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Beware private healthcare

Please help to share this, my brother suffers with severe depression and has had an awful experience with the private healthcare company simplyhealth. I have copy and pasted his experience. We are trying to share this to get some sort of recognition!

Hi my name is Oliver, I have not been given a policy number but i am a employee of ☆☆☆☆☆☆ . I was admitted to the Priory Roehampton on sunday for 28 day. I had spoken to a simpyhealth employee who stated that I would be covered for that time period on the bases of depression and this was confirmed by the Priory. I arrived there sunday afternoon and settled in happily but 24 hours later after starting my treatment the Priory administrations team left a messege on my bed to contact them urgently. I was then informed that simplyhealth were only going to cover me as a day patient and would not cover my 28 days stay. Later I spoke to the simplyhealth desk who then informed told that they would not even cover me as a day patient because of******* ******* ******!! I informed him that I was not at the Priory for those issues but for depression which simplyhealth had authorised. I was devastated and had to halt the call. I must state that it has taken since november last year to get help and a clear decision from simplyhealth. You keep shifting the goal posts. i am very distressed and feel let down by simply health as this cover was to help me sort out my depression and suicidal feelings so that i can go back to work. I am still absolutely devastated by the sequence of events and the way your company has behaved.

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Mad Old Vic – Issue 1

Mad Old Vic – Issue 1
Mad Old Vic

Mad Old Vic is the first of a series of “Zine’s” from MHRN that will be produced in both paper and online formats. You can download it as a complete pdf file here. This first issue has been produced for the CareTaking in the Community mental health debate at the Old Vic Theatre this evening (3rd May 2016). MHRN and allied activists will be handing out paper copies and attending the debate.

Idiotorial: “On the face of it, the UK Psychiatric Survivor movement is small, fractured and struggling. But this nasty government has awoken us from our slumber and we are rapidly skill-sharing, providing support that is available nowhere else and together our voices are becoming stronger as we articulate our collective love and rage.

When we first saw an advert for this debate, the panel consisted of a Sir, a CBE and a Shadow Health Minister infamous for her previous  directorship of Labour Friends of Israel. In our view, all the original panellists were wedded to, and endowed by privilege. We twitted about it, and along came the amazing Alice, who scuppered our plans to storm the stage. Then the Old Vic invited one of our recognised voices onto the panel and us off the streets and into the auditorium.

So the debate you heard tonight already has us all over it. There are other marginal voices who were excluded – they include the Mental Health Nurses who are engaged in their own debate – a fragment of which appears in the insightful letter by Jonathon Gadsby included in the pieces hereafter. The psychologists, counsellors and psychotherapists who daily see the pain that mental health in this society suffers were also excluded and the lovely Jay Watts’ cartoon is a nod to them.

MHRN Logo "We're Bonkers Not Bankers"But we are also relatively privileged, and we look forward to hearing from voices that are even more marginal than ours, and whose critiques of the systemic failings are even better-rounded. If you can’t wait to hear such a voice, put “depression is political” and “Bobby London” into your search engine to find a voice that we heard whilst preparing this impromptu and rugged premiere edition of Mad Old Vic.

There will be another version for those who struggled to add their voices to the call out – but did loads of work thinking. Don’t lose the insights you gained tonight please – join us as allies, like some therapists and nurses and social workers have done, or in your own right as a service user, and let’s start the transformation of this system into something that works for us and is fuelled by love and rage…”

Mad Old Vic Page 1
Mad Old Vic Page 2
Mad Old Vic Page 3
Mad Old Vic Page 4
Mad Old Vic Page 5
Mad Old Vic Page 6
Mad Old Vic Page 7
Mad Old Vic Page 8
Mad Old Vic Page 9
Mad Old Vic Page 10
Mad Old Vic Page 11
Mad Old Vic Page 12
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Dear Alice…….

Greetings from the Mental Health Resistance. You probably don’t know us, and we don’t know you. But in the last few days we have been talking about you, amongst ourselves and with our friends at Recovery in The Bin.

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opionion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum" Noam ChomskyWe became aware of the  “Caretaking in the Community” debate to be held at the Old Vic on May 3rd some weeks back.  At that time your participation had not been announced, and we noted that the panel consisted of powerful and privileged voices, which many of us feel do not represent us, our lives or our experiences.

Using the hashtag #NothingAboutUSWithoutUS we contacted the Old Vic and strongly suggested that a voice that does represent our experience should be included. We even suggested an academic and author who has lived experience of Mental Health issues, and who has campaigned alongside us. Perhaps they think we are marginal voices, but they chose not to have a real discussion with us, and then suddenly your name appeared on your bill.

To be honest none of us knew who you were but our research tells us that you do have lived experience, that this has been written about , and that you (like some of us)  are also  a successful academic and artist – especially in the fields of photography and videography. This suggests that you are likely to be hyper aware that the way in which something is ‘framed’ very much affects the way in which it is presented and perceived.

Graphic of faceless people having a debateThe debate is discussing the question “Are we failing those suffering from mental ill health in the UK?” noting that “It is estimated that around three-quarters of people with mental health problems in the UK receive no care at all.” That qualification in itself tells us that many of those affected by MH issues are marginalised, stigmatised, neglected and silenced.

We are wondering how much you can identify with that last statement

The MHRN was set up in late 2010, to fight the Welfare Reforms as we, campaigners and service users/survivors from differing backgrounds correctly foresaw the neoliberal nightmare that the issue of Mental Health was to become under the the coalition government ….. and which has become even more dystopian since the Tories found themselves elected as a majority party.

One of our first acts was to initiate a Judicial review against the murderous Work Capability Assessment. The Judicial Review found that the WCA places those with MH issues at a ‘substantial disadvantage’ – particularly in light of the difficulties many of us (neglected, marginalised, stigmatised and silenced) face in understanding our own trauma and distress.

One of your fellow panelists became caught up in the flack when the charities , who had failed to mount the challenge (despite their huge budgets and legal departments) were convinced (shamed into) supporting the challenge. Years later the DWP has yet to take any meaningful action to address that ‘substantial disadvantage’  identified by the Judicial Review.

"I don't think people realise how the establishment became established. They simply stole land and property from the poor, surrounded themselves with weak minded sycophants for protection, gave themsevles titles and have been weilding power ever since!" Tony BennYet Paul Farmer has chaired the Mental Health Taskforce and been awarded the ‘prestige’ of being a Commander of the British Empire (which we find revolting bearing in mind that there are many  Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) users of Mental Health services and there is little that we can see of the history of Empire to feel proud of, let alone perpetuate).

Our friends at Recovery In The Bin  are also long established survivors and campaigners, many going back to the days of Mad Pride. They are particularly critical of the Recovery Model, and the way  that the Service User movement and Recovery concept seem to have been hijacked and perverted in the service of the neoliberal politics that are pushed by corporations (big pharma and ‘welfare to work) and their tame politicians.

We fear that your inclusion on the panel may mean that the answers are only framed by those who are in positions of privilege and power (in your case relatively so).  We do believe that people paying to see the debate may be interested in hearing some of what we  have to say in answer to the central question of the debate, and we are scrambling about trying to get people to submit articles, artwork and poetry that help expand the debate and give pause for thought about the wider issues that those still suffering think need urgent addressing. The plan is to bring those contributions into a zine called ‘Mad Old Vic‘ which we will offer to attendees and participants in the debate to take away with them.

We are writing to ask if you will show solidarity with those of us who feel marginalised by the event by referring to what we are doing, and to urge everyone to take and read copies of the zine.

Please consider the request and let us know.

We will be outside the theatre on the day, and would love to chat to you and answer any questions you might have.

Love ‘n rage



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MHRN Letter to Jolyon Rubinstein

Dear Jolyon Rubinstein

Just got back from the anti-austerity demo. You repeated Brand’s mistake and asked us to love the police. You could at the very least , as an act of solidarity, have asked them to stop killing black people and also to stop beating us up at demos, before declaring our love for them.

At the MHRN we don’t all hate the cops, but some of us think all of them are bastards……….

If you’re going to ape Brand at least read his book – get it from the library before they close it – he has way too much money already – and we can only hope his new £1m swimming pool is actually a mass grave for the Tories……. in the book he spoke to someone who suggested the easist way to reduce inequality would be to end titles and private security.

The cops are now, and have always been, private security for the 1% (steal a little and they’ll throw you in jail, steal a lot and they’ll make you king) so they need to sort that out too before their pensions are trashed along with the rest of ours…….

We look forward to the day when your celeb staus doesn’t get you onto the stage at the PEOPLE’s assembly – at least this time they had real people there – our sisters in Solidarity Paula Peters and Ellen from DPAC.

If we get rid of the Tories and austerity we will still have capitalism exploiting us ………

love and rage

The Mental Health Resistance Network

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