Tyneside Mind WCA Film – ‘But I’m Here for Mental Health’
First of all you get sent this form to fill in but when you’re ill you just can’t focus on anything the words just don’t make sense. When I got called for the assessment,
I was still working one day a week It was all I could manage at the time,
but at least it was something. It took me weeks to fill it out. I just couldn’t write what I knew I needed to write. I only managed to send it back just in time. – Alan Jones? I worked at the same company for 32 years I’ve got carpal tunnel syndrome
and had to have operations on my hands I tried to go back to work too early
because I was worried about losing my job My hands didn’t heal properly because of
using the machinery and it made it worse In the end I was unfairly dismissed – Can you touch your toes? I started getting threats about having my benefits cut. It’s like being constantly beaten by a baseball bat I’ve always suffered from depression
but losing my job was the tipping point. – Sometimes I just can’t get out of bed. When I got the form I knew I had to write
everything down that I was feeling. – Just blank… But because of my hands I had
to get my Mam to help me do it. She was the only one I could ask – Everything just goes numb But there’s some things your Mam
just shouldn’t have to hear you say. – Well, how bad does it get? – Sometimes… I just don’t know how much
longer I can carry on like this. – And do you have any suicidal thoughts? – Yes – Mam… – I’m sorry Mam. – Have you made any steps towards
actually taking your life? – No… not recentlty, no. – So would you say you had good days? I don’t choose to be this way. With depression you’re just… paralysed. If it wasn’t for Archie I would never leave the house I realised then, in the interview, that Archie was going
to be used against me I worked at the same company since I left school
and then I snapped my ankle at work I was out of work for a year and then I was dismissed,
unfairly dismissed So I fought them for two and a half years
and that’s when the depression and anxiety started. – Right. – Did you have a cup of tea when you
woke up this morning? – A cup of tea? Emmm… well… – Yes, I did, yes.
– And did you make it yourself? – Well… yes… I live on my own you see,
so there’s no one else to… – How full would you say the kettle was? – How full? – Well was it full to the top, or half full? – About… half full…?
yeah its about… half full. – Do you do your own shopping? – The kettle is half full and I have to
hold on to the counter while I pour it. So i’ve got one hand on the counter
and one hand on the kettle… – Yep. And do you do your own shopping? If I’m shopping for somebody else it’s not so hard,
but if it’s for me I can’t make my mind up. You know, I’ll think well this one’s cheaper but it’s not as nice. But this one is 20p more but it’ll be better value for money
cos the quality will be better but… … but I don’t know if I should have the nice one…
like if I deserve to have the nicer one. – Sorry, sorry
55 pence, 75 pence.
stop breathing in your sleep. I’ve got this machine which helps me breathe at night. I only get a couple of hours of sleep
so that’s why I’m so tired during the day. If I need to get up I won’t turn the light on
in case it runs down the electric meter. If the electricity goes off then the machine stops. Well, if that happens… well, I could die. – So. Did you make yourself a cup of tea this morning? – Oh… no… – Could you do this for me June? – I’m sorry, but I know fine well if I try and do that,
I’ll not get up again… – I’m here for mental health… – Oh no. No please. – No – Oh god. – No, please After 32 years I felt like I’d made my contribution It was just the one time in my life when I needed
a little bit of help to get back on my feet In the end, my Mam had to go
through all of that for nothing. I just keep going over and over it in my head. I just feel like I must have done something wrong.
Like I must have answered all of the questions wrong. It was Christmas time when they stopped my money. It was the first time I couldn’t buy a
Christmas present for my son. I’ve suffered from depression my whole life but that was the closest I’ve got to committing suicide. And that’s when I stopped working altogether.