27_february_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,355

Saturday 27 February 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Let’s get one thing absolutely clear from the outset, therapy is only therapy if it is client led, if the practitioner has a pre-existing agenda it is ‘coercion’ and whatever practices employed to achieve that coercive agenda are ‘programming’.

The 400 psychologists, counsellors and academics who condemned Osborne’s ‘return-to-work’ pogrom are entirely correct in condemning such heinous practices as ‘manifestly not therapy at all’. In an open letter to the Guardian they state, ‘It is time for the field’s key professional organisations to wake up to these malign developments, and unequivocally denounce such so-called “therapy” as damaging and professionally unethical’.

Exposing already vulnerable people to coercive programming and conditioning is not only profoundly wrong and toxic it amounts to nothing less than psychological assault. If people are forced to undertake programming under Iain Duncan Smith’s conditionality regime, under threat of sanctions, then your governments descent into barbarity is a done deal. People suffering from mental health problems being coerced into coercive programming is far beyond criminality, it is state torture which you have allocated £1 billion a year to undertake.

A recent study by Oxford and Liverpool researchers found that, ‘each additional 10,000 people subjected to a Work Capability Assessment was associated with an additional six suicides, 2,700 cases of reported mental health problems, and the prescribing of an additional 7,020 anti-depressants. Overall, that amounted to 590 extra suicides, 279,000 additional cases of mental health problems and an additional 725,000 anti-depressants across England as a whole’.

The DWP responded to the study saying that, ‘This report is wholly misleading, and the authors themselves caution that no conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect’. Prof Thom Baguley, associate dean for research at Nottingham Trent University wrote, ‘The evidence goes beyond merely establishing a correlation but falls short of establishing a causal link’. If your government had any interest in anything other than creating a punitive regime it would immediately seek to undertake in depth research into these issues and it says everything about your government that no mention of any such study has been made.

It is not just therapists who should be condemning this wanton state brutality, these issues rightly belong in the Hague for crimes against humanity and I appeal for legal professionals to come forward to assist us in challenging your government.

George Osborne is paying therapists to ‘coerce’ mentally ill people back to work

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/17/austerity-and-a-malign-benefits-regime-are-profoundly-damaging-mental-health

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-improve-mental-health-treatment-to-get-thousands-more-back-to-work

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34838539

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