Tyneside Mind WCA Film – ‘But I’m Here for Mental Health’

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…?
About… half full. Yes, half full. – And do you do your own shopping?It’s not full to the top…
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, sorry55 pence, 75 pence. 55 pence, 75 pence.
55 pence, 75 pence.It’s just 20 pence man, it’s just 20 pence.55 pence, 75 pence.don’t say it out loud, don’t say it out loud.it’s just 20 pence, it’s just 20 pence – So, you do your shopping by yourself and nobody helps you? – Do you do your own shopping, yes or no? – Yes – June Roberts. June Roberts? I’ve got sleep apnoea which is when you
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.

Comments

(76 Comments)

  • Jonathan Newman

    These are the kind of people the Express and Daily Mail labels as Workshy scrounging liars. What a sad world we live in. 

  • Tyneside and Northumberland Mind

    sound piece to complement the film https://soundcloud.com/helix-arts/there

  • Andy_K

    Fantastic film.  Thank you so very, very much.!!
    I would ask one thing though.  If the credits etc can be amended, then add to them that anyone with a mental or physical disability should NEVER attend anything to do with ATOS or the DWP without either an advocate, friend, relative, neighbour or whoever.  They should never go alone as it works against the claimant to do so.  I learned this the hard way and had to go to court to prove my "innocence".  Because that is how you are left feeling.  As though you are guilty of lying about your life and how you suffer, to the govt. and everyone around you. 

  • ElensarFFXI

    This movie really captures the misery these people are doing to my family.

  • Joolz211

    This video captured very well how patronising and inappropriate the WCA is for people who have mental illnesses.  How on earth can someone's ability to work be assessed on the basis of whether or not that person can make a cup of tea?!   The whole WCA seems to be geared towards finding anyone who isn't completely incapacitated fit for work.  There is no assessment of issues which would be of concern to employers such as concentration, distractibility and ability to perform tasks at speed.  The WCA process is extremely unfair and has above all been designed to prevent money being given to people who really need it, while MPs continue to rake in their expenses and look forward to a fat pay rise.  Absolutely sickening!

  • DrKleiner

    Excellent. The bit in the shop was a really good representation of how stressful it is to have anxiety.

  • Hermumbles

    i have secondary progressive MS -i am a full time WC user , i was in tears over this-people dont realise or even care what you go through during one of these-you can 'see' my disability clear enough but its still not enough i am still accused of being a liar and faking my illness 

  • AuntyEsther

    Excellent film Tyneside Mind. It really portrays how mental difficulties that would make a person unemployable are totally overlooked by the WCA, never mind being able to make a cup of tea! I hope that the people whose stories feature in this film manage to make a successful appeal, and that their situation has improved.

  • Lisa Egan

    No subtitles?

  • Norma Roberts

    A friend of mine was asked if they had a pet, seemingly she smiled when talking about her dog, and this was used as "evidence" that she was not that depressed. The report of my first assessment said that as I was not sweating excesively, or making rocking movements in my seat, I was not anxious. The assessment was carried out by a nurse (not mental health)

      Both my friend and I failed our assessments with 0 points.  We both appealed and got more than enough points to qualify for sickness benefit. We are both in our late 50's and have both  worked full time for over 30 years before we became ill.

  • JonjoCynic

    Those damn benefits workers. They don't even consider for a second the damage their poorly thought out decisions could cause, even the possible deaths. They don't even seem to know about the conditions they're judging people on. There's no words for the kind of punishment they deserve.

  • Paul Reed

    I have mental health issues. I've failed three assessments in 3 years and won each tribunal appeal. Unfortunately I know they'll send me for another and it'll be the same pointless WCA, ATOS 'medical' then a letter telling me I've failed.

    I waited over 2 1/2 years to get some form of help from the time I first asked for it. Despite the fact I'd seen nobody in all that time they failed me with 0 points. That was the first tribunal I won and they gave me 31 points.

    The dread you feel when you see that brown envelope waiting for you.. You try to be positive but then you see '0 points'. Your whole world stops at that moment as panic sets in fully.

    None of the people doing these assessments are qualified in mental health and most are only nurses. How can they be allowed to judge your metal health in a short, very intimidating assessment based on very weighted yes / no questions? How do those questions assess you better than your CPN or psychiatrist?

    These people go home at the end of the day with nothing to worry about. Anyone that has been for one of these assessments knows that all you do is worry from that point until you get that envelope with the results back. It's quite literally mental torture and it has lead to suicides yet they're still done. The only ones suffering from the incompetence of the assessments are those who need help most. It must stop.

  • bsmsearch

    Excellent but moving film. This well reflects my experience of trying to help someone with bipolar and OCD. ATOS rejected the application. Their questioning was irrelevant. The appeal took 7 months. The appeal was upheld. 3 months later, ATOS sent the forms for review, having ignored the successful appeal 3 months earlier. The system needs to be totally changed from the ground up. Well done Tyneside Mind for publicly exposing this totally inadequate system for assessing benefits for people with depression and associated mental challenges.

  • March Bushnell-Lane

    This brought me to tears, I was deemed fit for work despite having BPD, anxiety and depression, I was trying to get my life in order; I was volunteering at a local charity shop but my life fell apart when my benefits were stopped. I had to move in with my parents and am starting all over again.

  • Sheridan Hayward

    Thank you so much for highlighting our plight with this brilliant film.

  • Jazzy Jay

    This assessment I still face. I suffer crippling anxiety & some extremely severe phobias that have left me housebound. I can make a cup of tea, raise my arms & even possibly squat but ask me to walk outside of my house or sit in the company of strangers & my whole reality comes crashing down and I'm left a whimpering, panicking mess. A person who quite literally crumbles to the ground and curls up in a ball. How am I to work? Tell me this… The thought of being told to get a job & my benefits stopped makes me feel suicidal. I have often thought about it. Just don't know what I am going to do?

  • Bob Brotchie

    Incredibly powerful and poignant, this film reflect my personal and professional experiences. Despairing at such horrific unintentional and intentional discrimination. Stuff budgets. Provide compassion, real and appropriate – dignified and with integrity – assessments for humans!
    Thank you for producing and promoting this critical cause.  

  • Ellen Boshell

    Thank you for posting this.. very hard to watch sitting here crying now but people need to know what goes on..  Have severe anxiety probs/PTSD & depression just sent in my form last week & I'm scared they will stop my money as i didn't get it finished till 2 days before the date & dreading the assesment as well. This time of year is hard enough to get through since losing my mum suddenly a week or so after xmas 3 years ago course they don't care about things like that tho do they long as I can touch my toes & make a cup of tea 🙁

  • cocolablanket

    When I had my ATOS assessment a few years back my male doctor assessor actually stated untruths on his written forms that he submitted (ie. to do with the overall examination and specific medical comments). I raised a complaint with the GMC (General Medical Council) as well as the DWP and created as much aggravation as I could, the stress over a period on months was horrendous BUT the Doctor was given a 2nd severe warning as to his conduct by the GMC !. The attitude conveyed in this film just brought it all back and I am appalled yet again at the vindictiveness and appallling mjanagement of the DWP and the staggering attitude by Conservative/Lib Dem Coalition. I fully agree with the comments that this Government is now politically and monetarily ostracising Disabled people, myself included, in a fashion somewhat similar to that of the Nazi's in 1939.  

  • Alex Burnell

    A powerful film. Very well executed, thank you for sharing. I sympathize greatly with the people depicted here as I too, have been going through the WCA process. I had my Atos assessment 5 days ago, having been waiting for it for 13 months. They kept on cancelling the appointment, adding to the stress, though my issues are mainly physical, I do have some mental health issues which, other than asking if I was suicidal, were not really addressed during the assessment. I am prepared to be turned down for help and will appeal if that happens. Much love to all those struggling and try to hang on. x

  • sarcosis1

    This breaks my heart. I suffer with MH problems…what does my future hold? Hopelessness…

  • squalllion1uk

    Pretty powerful stuff, I can relate to a lot of this and well this video really depicts it as it is… Going through the WCA when you have depression its just a horrible experience.

  • nuala50

    Well they mentioned on the One Show about ATOS asking if you owned a cat or a dog – then saying you are fit for work if you answer yes. How cruel is that -begrudging a sick person an animal which may be the only thing that they get out of bed for. Therefore more animals will sadly and reluctantly have to be given up to the animal shelters for rehoming because sick and disabled are frightened of losing their benefits.

  • Robert Bolton

    I have my assessment in three weeks. I have severe depression, which I have suffered with for most of my adult life. I am on a lot of meds and under the care of a psychiatrist. I have completed one course of psychotherapy and am waiting for another. I have initiated every step of my recovery process by constantly asking for more help, as I want to get better and resume a normal life. I have worked for 28 of the 30 years since I left school, so am not a benefit scrounger, I have just had a bad couple of years due to my marriage breaking up and losing my home and job.

    If ATOS fails me I will kill myself. This is something I have thought long and hard about for a very long time as it will take all my hope away. I have already planned it and have everything I need to go through with it, I am not scared. I will be telling them this at my assessment and the fact that I am already self harming.

    There is no point in telling me to contact the Samaritans or my GP or psychiatrist because there is nothing they can do to help me if ATOS force me off ESA. No amount of talking will change things and to be honest, after trying so hard to get better for so long, I will be in a position where I can't be bothered to fight anymore. They have taken away my dignity and self respect already and it will be more dignified for me if I end it all.

    ATOS are murderers and don't care about the consequences of their actions, how many more lives will they end?

  • jeanette williams

    ive been there myself with MH problems i have bi polar borderline personality disorder  aslo i do have other complaints as well i had been fighting the dss atos after getting no points so i have been were u have been myslef however i got my descion over turned before xmas i was due to go to appeal in jan of this year i put extra med evidence in for the appeal plus aletter of how i cope with day to day issues and i explained in my own words why i though t the descion was wrong the effects of my meds im on etc etc it was over tunred a descion maker dont give up hope i won and i know many others have keep fighting this goverement and atos they will listen evenyaly they have to good luck with all that are going though it now

  • Kathyforthewin

    The whole point of the WCA is to get rid of the weak. Declare them fit for work when there simply isn't work suitable for them. Cameron will say suicides as a result are an unfortunate issue that's not their fault but in reality they know exactly what they're doing and it's a win for them. Once someone spend months appealing, let's say they win as most appeals do, by the time they've won they get home to have to start the process again with a letter for a new assessment coming as soon as a day after the win for people I know. What is it about this deliberate never ending circle of mental torture that the public don't see? The government has portrayed disabled benefits claimants as frauds and scammers to the press in a hefty media campaign and the gullible public have gobbled it up, allowing and sanctioning this. And in the meantime, the real amount of benefits frauds are miniscule and the genuine cases are put on this merrygoround for life. If they can't take it, the government tell the press to say that people don't just commit suicide over benefits and they must've been very mentally ill – so only after they've paid the price of this system does their illness get acknowledged, what a change of tune! Labour intend to continue these WCAs so who do we vote for??

  • Lee2709

    ATOS are unashamedly profiteering from the vulnerable in society. The whole WCA regarding mental health is a disgusting sham which causes untold distress to vulnerable people. ATOS, you are an utter disgrace!

  • nelson holmes

    I have just received my ATOS medical date today, after waiting 4 months from sending in my ESA/50. I can't believe how much these stories mirror my own, I'm terrified now, and just don't know what to do. My GP Has lost all interest in me,

  • starlaeuropa

    You can see how these professionals minds work – they're digging for whatever they can use against you so they can deny you help. They really don't care about the sick/disabled or what will happen to them if they lose their benefits!

  • barbara Osborne

    its not right 

  • Debra Parker

    Heart Breaking to watch . Highlights that the process is not fit for purpose . especially for people with Mental Health Issues . Strips away peoples dignity and denies help to the people that Really Need It . 

  • powerthrucontrol

    Very sad. This needs to change.

  • fraz3

    Wow that was powerful . I can relate to everyone in it

  • JCMouse7

    Thank you for caring, and for speaking on behalf of those who's voices this dreadful system was designed to silence.  

  • Simon Ling

    Living in england your bullied for your mental heath and more! DO they care?

  • BUDDHA DRAGON

    Disgusted with this country at the moment. We should be ashmed that we let this happen to our most sick, disabled & mentally vulnerable. My taxes go to helping people & paying for public owned services. Not the private financial sector or hand outs to private corporations sucking on our treasury purse. F.O!

  • Tyneside and Northumberland Mind

    over 8 months on and our film is still relvent.  http://newapproachuk.org/

  • Cindajan

    I think that the UK now resembles Nazi Germany because they are trying to kill off the sick and disabled

  • nelson holmes

    I'm commenting on this 6 months after my last, and i'm pleased to say that the WCA has vastly improved, where Mental Health issues are concerned, 
    although now Atos have abandoned the D.W.P contract, goodness knows who will be taking over.

  • Robert Furnell

    I'm in the same boat as most of these people in this film. Even though we deny it and I do all the time.

  • theduke ofweasels

    this is a real and honest look a mental illness!  I'm so grateful that I live were I do I got the help I need!

  • StillTotaly mad

    WOW! really strong hitting film. I've been kicked off esa with a broken collarbone and atos said i was fit for work, i go for a double apparition soon ( a bone graft off my hip and the graft and a pin in my collarbone. i have a six month sick note here that esa says i can NOT put in as its got the same thing on it, i broke my collarbone on the 25/6/14.  

  • prince dudz

    thanks for sharing,
    i suffer mental illness too,
    iv got  my assessment tomorrow

  • Ona Haynes

    Thank you for mking this film. I am a mental health service user and also have physical difficulties / illness including cancer. When I was still well enough to work, I worked as a citizen Advocate for a charity. The charity eventually closed and I got a job at Remploy – an agency which said they helped ill & disabled back to work. It was horrific. I had spent yrs empowering mentally ill & disabled people and now this place wanted to me to lie, forge doccuments and bully people off benefits. I didnt last there long. The media does plenty to show benefit claimants in a terrible light – hate baiting against a vulnerable social group. We need to spread & share films like this so people see the other side. (My avatar pic is my own painting of my manic mid. I have bi-polar)

  • D Red

    We should send this to IDS to watch he is the person behind DWP and he's the one responsible for these extreme assessments that just causes more harm to the sick, these companies calling them selves health care professions is just outrageous???

  • Michael H

    I'm a few minutes into this, and it's sad. People don't go out, from my experience, in order to preserve some kind of dignity. 30 years ago I could barely walk. Sciatica didn't exist in those days, and neither was stress recognised by the Orthodox Medical profession in the UK. I clearly remember a lady giving me a card and she simply said, "Phone this number". I was with that Osteopath, Acupuncturist, Naturopath & Drug Free Therapist for about 18 years. Within a year I ran a Marathon – hobbled most of the way, and was in pain before the flag went up. If you are young enough, there is hope, but you certainly need the correct attention. At 58 I'm not as determined as I was, but I did manage to regain a 'normal' life for many years. I was lucky.

  • Virginia Neil

    DWP – dickheads wankers pricks!

  • transit Van

    I believe the qoustion that the people at work accesment places are not right.
    they don't ask questions based on work ability I've got a health problem and that I can't work but move around the house though. my condition is heart murmur I was born with it I can't do any heavy lifting because I can hurt myself.

  • DARKHITEKT

    I had a pet, a kitten, that I purposely killed. Am I mentally sound?

  • WORSTXB1PLAYER Tyler Tee H C

    ALSO had my Christmas and New Year 2017 killed by these fuckers thanks MAXIMUS

  • Keir Taylor

    Excellent – thank you

  • Baby Lea

    Atos are a joke, i have mental health issues which cause me to shut down and basically become a child. i played hell with the atos agency at the medical assessment, because she said to me you seem to be physically capable of doing the movements.. I retorted with A 2 year old child can make the movements in this test, but you wouldn't leave them alone would you?

    According to

    The doctor
    Psychiatrists
    Psychologists
    even the DWP
    i have written statements from each of them stating "Needs 24 hour supervision", but still the DWP refused the claim.

    i failed the assessment and am currently waiting a tribunal

  • waynester71

    The sound of the constant tapping of the computer keys by the emotionless ATOS drones makes my skin crawl..

  • HANKY BOSTIK

    atos/maximus assessments and the DWP forms/advisors etc are set up to try and deliberately trip people up at every turn, nothing to do at all with how ill people are or to help people. Its all about meeting their targets and saving money nothing more. Absolutely disgusting the way they treat people. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  • ralph12330

    Strong and powerful, but very very true

  • Puddsta

    i have 3 disabilities plus depression and have been asked for assessment. they have turnt me away from the first one as i was on morphine and unable to speak and function properly and yet been sent through another assessment date. if i wasnt fit for work then, what makes them think i will be second time round

  • hengus pod

    disabled people get a raw deal and it sickens me, the government dosnt give a hoot try living the life of a disabled person and they might understand

  • tony n

    I've just gone through this I no how these people feel. 0 points its completely broken me.

  • sam333

    this is hilarious so fake making them out to be all starving scruffs on mental health

  • Anne Francess

    😢😢😢

  • Thedrewzz

    Their sick WCA is based on a model used by an American insurance company to justify why they could refuse disability insurance claims. It is designed NOT to help people.
    Tory Blair's miserable New Labour lot, especially James Oxbridge Purnell, started it, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2008/dec/11/welfare-social-exclusion
    But New Labour's version was mild compared to the steroid-fuelled version created when Cameron carelessly put psychopathic compulsive liar IDS in charge of it.
    AsLabour had approved the initial idea, he thought he could instruct the DWP to be as vicious and heartless as he liked and Labour could take the blame. He couldn't believe his luck, the sadistic monster.
    This is the truly sick state this country has descended to.
    First they make work shit for millions of manual workers by destroying most of the manual industries, thereafter herding them into soul-destroying shelf filling, warehouse packing and call centres on misery wages; then when the stress and anxiety of worthless working and ever rising cost of living hits you, instead of a helping hand they give the DWP a big stick to hit you with, hard – benefit cuts, sanctions, abject poverty, heat-or-eat, homelessness, food banks and suicidal ideation.
    Welcome to the Tory Nirvana of a shrunken State, impoverished public services, low skills, low productivity and low taxes for the wealthy.
    No way are we "all in it together". We never were.
    Just more Tory lies.
    It comes so naturally to them.

  • messanger of elohim

    Poor people fucking government they have money for wars but not feed there people

  • slamberger

    the people accuse DWP /ESA OFFICE of genocidal agenda against mentally sick and disabled communities .

  • slamberger

    feels so sad and lost this is happening in a a free democracy .

  • william burrell

    i used too be on personal independence payment for mental and anxiety but then the took me off it because i didn't attend a assessment but i phone the pip up and explained the reason why because i was at my mums death bed and they said it wasn't a good anth reason

  • Jason Lee

    When will they stop repeat assessments for mental health/depression/anxiety/Asperger's/

  • Virgo Sensation

    I got awarded pip and because I got the higher rate for daily living, i was told I qualified for the premium on Esa. Esa then back payed me and told me the premium would be added on to my esa. I thought that was it. I have now just got a letter telling me I have to attend a work capability assessment! I rang them and asked them why. They said "to see if I qualify". Do you see how sick these people are?! There's evidence showing my illness, but that's not enough for them. They want you to jump through every hoop, just to drag you down! This is why a lot of people die. because of these sadistic psychopaths bullying and harassing them. These monsters want to save every last penny. Even if it costs you your life!

  • Peter Galbraith

    The reason people are not getting there benefits is because last year the DWP awarded themselves in over 5 million pounds in bonuses which people can find out about on Google, they are an absolute disgrace to humanity and they will suffer the wrath of evil, either in this life or the next lol but never mind all that, we've got a royal wedding coming up and guess who's paying for it?

  • David Harrison

    Archie is a lovely little dog . very cool .

  • David Harrison

    i work with ex servicemen . a lot have extreme ptsd . watching this is what i see in them x a hundred . mental health issues need specialist help . the wrong help makes it worse than no help at all sometimes .

  • sairhug

    How to stop this?

    Marsha de Cordova MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Disabled People, commenting on the official statistics on Employment Support Allowance: Work Capability Assessments, Mandatory Reconsiderations and Appeals published 13th September 2018, said:

    “The calamitous Work Capability Assessment has created a hostile environment for disabled people.

    “That almost two thirds of fit for work decisions are overturned at appeal reveals the shocking human impact of callous and inaccurate assessments. The Government is forcing thousands of disabled people through lengthy appeals and mandatory reconsideration processes to access their right to social security.

    “Labour will scrap cruel Work Capability Assessments and introduce a tailored and supportive framework that treats disabled people with respect.”

    My solution: vote Labour.

  • Alastair West

    I'm ex- III Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, and I can't get ESA even though I have diagnosed severe PTSD – Maximus are cunts…

  • jaan Khan

    WELL DONE FOR VOTING THE TORY CUNTS. HOPE YOU ARE ALL PLEASED WITH YOURSELVES, RACISTS HAHAHAHHAHA

  • john cook

    they all these asscers should die of cancer

  • Nicole Weller

    I had my WCA appointment a few months ago and this is exactly what it's like, It kills you inside and I dont know how i'll cope. Many people have killed themselves over WCA and Universal Credit, it's about time this stopped. Take mental health more seriously just like physical illnesses!

  • RPKVids

    Every Tory member should be forced to watch this.

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