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Woman commits suicide blaming government's 'bedroom tax'. watch

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    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    There are people who really do not have anything worth living for, no friends or family at all or no friends or family who bother, who have debilitating mental health problems that renders it near impossible for them to have normal relationships or a decent job, who spend their entire life on diffrent medication and seeing many diffrent therapists none of which help and who spend their entire lifes in a constant state of emotional pain.

    Studies indicate that emotional pain activates the same areas of the brain as physical pain so can still cause a massive amount of distress.

    It is difficult to describe emotional pain to those who have never felt it, it would be like the sun has extinquished and all colour in your life drained, leaving you in a pit of total despair, isolation and with not one single spark of hope. Maybe you felt like that once now imagine being told as some indeed are that you are going to feel like that for the rest of your life with medication doing very little to help, and making you more numb than happy - I would call that agony!!

    Now I would never suggest suicide as an option for anyone, ofcourse I would want to help anyone feeling like that, but at least I can understand and empathise with how that person feels, I would not say that it is selfish to be in such a state of despair as that, that you see death as the only escape and end to your torment.
    If she was such a person, spending her whole life in a constant state of emotional pain, then you cannot blame the politicians for inadvertently creating a trigger.

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    I would think anyone who does see it as selfish is showing such a disgusting high level of ignorance, but what more would you expect from the right it is rare to see empathy from them.
    More relevant really would be to ask the question - "What more would you expect from the left?" Using her death for political point scoring? Poor woman never learned to take responsiblity for her actions and her final act was somebody else's fault. It's pathetic and the left have already started to use it for emotional blackmail.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    If she was such a person, spending her whole life in a constant state of emotional pain, then you cannot blame the politicians for inadvertently creating a trigger.
    Government is supposed to help people, if a women has killed herself and blammed it on the governments harsh pollicies then government has failed and has done nothing to prevent things like this from happening, it will not even be considered.

    More relevant really would be to ask the question - "What more would you expect from the left?" Using her death for political point scoring? Poor woman never learned to take responsiblity for her actions and her final act was somebody else's fault. It's pathetic and the left have already started to use it for emotional blackmail.
    No actually these issues are entierly political in nature. Hell she even blamed the governments pollicies herself so she made the issue political. We live in a society of freedom of speech and expression and it not inappropiate at all to disscuss this or make political comment on the issue. The exact same goes for the Mick Philpott case, although the chancellor should be very carefull how he words what he says on that; as yes he has found one person abusing the benefits system but is Philpott the exemplar of all on benefits? I think not!!

    How is anything to be done in pollitics if we can not have disscussions like this?

    Lets say a child gets shot by a bb gun and dies, someone is stabbed, someone killed by a drunk driver, etc

    So would we not disscuss such issues and do nothing about it because it is 'inappropriate' to use the issue to support a political clause?
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    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    Government is supposed to help people, if a women has killed herself and blammed it on the governments harsh pollicies then government has failed and has done nothing to prevent things like this from happening, it will not even be considered.



    No actually these issues are entierly political in nature. Hell she even blamed the governments pollicies herself so she made the issue political. We live in a society of freedom of speech and expression and it not inappropiate at all to disscuss this or make political comment on the issue. The exact same goes for the Mick Philpott case, although the chancellor should be very carefull how he words what he says on that; as yes he has found one person abusing the benefits system but is Philpott the exemplar of all on benefits? I think not!!

    How is anything to be done in pollitics if we can not have disscussions like this?

    Lets say a child gets shot by a bb gun and dies, someone is stabbed, someone killed by a drunk driver, etc

    So would we not disscuss such issues and do nothing about it because it is 'inappropriate' to use the issue to support a political clause?

    The government does help people, but there's a limit to that help merely from a cost basis. If her suicide is the result of the governments fault then the government should invest billions to stop all suicides, which they already do but the sad fact is you can't lead a horse to water.

    She was offered help in the firm of rehousing and she chose not to take that help. Just as drug addicts choose not to take help as well as a whole host of other people choose not to take help.

    There comes a limit where people need to take responsibility for their own actions, and family members need to take responsibility for helping out their own. Elements of life are hard, but shouting at the moon and blaming others isn't necessarily the best way of dealing with things unless you are categorically not in control of yourself, in which case there's mental health issues at hand and her nearest and dearest should've picked up on that. Because remember she wasn't alone. She had two loving children.

    The government has to balance the needs of all people. Not just one grouping that the left decide to politically point score. Interestingly though it wasn't the target grouping of disabled, carer or single parent that was so banded around as the target grouping by the left, but it was one of those who should've and could've moved even though housing shortages for one and two bedroomed houses were also banded around as a problem with the benefit reduction.

    The governments policy was far from harsh. She wasn't being made homeless. That's harsh. Not re housing somebody.
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    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    Government is supposed to help people
    Not necessarily. You're making an ideological statement there that not everyone agrees with. It depends on what you think the role of government is.
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    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    Government is supposed to help people, if a women has killed herself and blammed it on the governments harsh pollicies then government has failed and has done nothing to prevent things like this from happening, it will not even be considered.

    No actually these issues are entierly political in nature. Hell she even blamed the governments pollicies herself so she made the issue political. We live in a society of freedom of speech and expression and it not inappropiate at all to disscuss this or make political comment on the issue. The exact same goes for the Mick Philpott case, although the chancellor should be very carefull how he words what he says on that; as yes he has found one person abusing the benefits system but is Philpott the exemplar of all on benefits? I think not!!

    How is anything to be done in pollitics if we can not have disscussions like this?

    Lets say a child gets shot by a bb gun and dies, someone is stabbed, someone killed by a drunk driver, etc

    So would we not disscuss such issues and do nothing about it because it is 'inappropriate' to use the issue to support a political clause?
    Sorry, I ran this through Google Translate and it was struggling...

    As far as I can understand, you are trying to say (completely off topic and irrelevently) that it's wrong for the government to want to reform the benefits system in order to prevent abuse of that system, because Philpot was the only one?

    In addition you are saying that because someone kills themself and blames the government, then it must be the government's fault, just as it is the government's fault when someone gets shot in the face, stabbed, run over, etc, is that it?

    In other words, basically you are saying that you can't (shouldn't?) criticise when something looked at objectively is Labour's fault (the benefits system that tempted Philpot to do what he did) but you can when something (everything bad that happens that can't be attributed to something Labour did?) can be perceived to be the Tories fault, even if you have to stretch credulity to do so?
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    (Original post by River85)
    Not necessarily. You're making an ideological statement there that not everyone agrees with. It depends on what you think the role of government is.

    To facilitate the ability to help oneself. Not to spoon feed you.

    I can't help but feel that when comparing our welfare and health system to others in Europe, we pay less fir it and expect more. I think this may be the problem, the state can technically do everything for you and therefore you are not enticed to get some get up and go as there's no need to.
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    Good points raised when I was gone. A few things I wanted to comment on:

    (Original post by River85)
    Because that £20 can make the difference between being able to live anyway?
    In a nation where you can find £20 on the floor, I don't give that statement a lot of credence. If £20 is the difference between being able to live or not, you can get £20. Sorry if that sounds ignorant of the poverty in the UK, but compared to parts of the world where poverty actually exists...


    (Original post by River85)
    How are you defining selfishness? To me selfishness is doing an act that profits oneself, and doesn't take into consideration other people.

    If I were to take my own life, I don't see how I would "profit" from that, besides no longer being in emotional pain/the situation that was causing me emotional pain.
    Well you have the advantage of "not having to live in pain", at the expense of your friends and families. Its a tricky one in that respect: for me I found it incredibly selfish that people put the fact that "they'd miss me" above the fact that I didn't want to be alive any more, which I viewed as them being selfish not me.

    Otherwise a great post.

    (Original post by Xotol)
    A man holds a family of four in a room to a gun point. He tells the father to kill himself and he will let the other three go, otherwise they all die. Does that count as a selfless suicide?

    You asked for a hypothetical.
    Whilst I appreciate you may no longer be in the thread, if that's the best example of a selfless suicide, do you see my point? Other examples include the "rotting rope-bridge" scenario (it breaks and is going to fall so you let go to lower the strain so the other people holding on can survive) the "Look out sir, argh!" scenario (jumping onto a grenade to save another or your squads life) or the "sinking hot air balloon" scenario... Whilst I guess they could be considered suicide I think they fall into the realms of self sacrifice.

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    Now I would never suggest suicide as an option for anyone, of course I would want to help anyone feeling like that, but at least I can understand and empathise with how that person feels, I would not say that it is selfish to be in such a state of despair as that, that you see death as the only escape and end to your torment.

    I would think anyone who does see it as selfish is showing such a disgusting high level of ignorance, but what more would you expect from the right it is rare to see empathy from them.
    I agree with the end of the first paragraph - its not selfish to see death as the only way out, I'm arguing that it is selfish to go through with it. Which leads back to my earlier question - if we don't vilify it, stigmatise it, will it not seem a more attractive option. IF we start talking about "noble sacrifice" are we not setting a much more harmful environment for people in these vulnerable states. Saying "Its okay to feel despair, but if you top yourself its the lowest of the low" is better than "Many people who feel they can't cope decide to end their own lives to spare loved ones the burden" when it comes to discouraging people from the ultimate decision...
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    (Original post by AeneasBK)
    In a nation where you can find £20 on the floor, I don't give that statement a lot of credence. If £20 is the difference between being able to live or not, you can get £20. Sorry if that sounds ignorant of the poverty in the UK, but compared to parts of the world where poverty actually exists...
    Yes, because £20 notes are often found lying on the floor...

    In my 28 years I've never found a £5 note on the floor, let alone a £20 note. My parents once found a £50 note in a Café, though.

    Where do you think that someone who is unable to work, who may be without friends and family, to find £20 every single week. An amount which is perhaps as large as one quarter of their weekly income?

    Note I'm not saying that the lady in question couldn't have survived and found a way. I don't really want to comment on individual cases much. However, if someone is already in a state of considerable anxiety/experiencing mental health problems then they may well not be thinking rationally and be thinking pesimisstically. Any problem solving skills they have go out of the window. When told that their income can drop so substantially their mood and anxiety can plummet and will do things that they otherwise wouldn't normally do when well and thinking rationally.
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    (Original post by River85)
    Yes, because £20 notes are often found lying on the floor...

    In my 28 years I've never found a £5 note on the floor, let alone a £20 note. My parents once found a £50 note in a Café, though.

    Where do you think that someone who is unable to work, who may be without friends and family, to find £20 every single week. An amount which is perhaps as large as one quarter of their weekly income?

    Note I'm not saying that the lady in question couldn't have survived and found a way. I don't really want to comment on individual cases much. However, if someone is already in a state of considerable anxiety/experiencing mental health problems then they may well not be thinking rationally and be thinking pesimisstically. Any problem solving skills they have go out of the window. When told that their income can drop so substantially their mood and anxiety can plummet and will do things that they otherwise wouldn't normally do when well and thinking rationally.

    This is about an individual case though. She was able to work, she did have family and she had the ability to find the extra money by taking in a lodger or relocating.

    This is being used as a political pawn by labour.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    This is about an individual case though.
    Not particularly. I believe we can also have a wider discussion about the bedroom "tax" and how ill thought the policy is and how it is targeting some of the most vulnerable in society.

    She was able to work
    Not according to the media. She had a disability and was not fit for work, but didn't claim disability benefits.

    she did have family
    How do you know the family could afford the £20 a week? That's over 1k a year?

    and she had the ability to find the extra money by taking in a lodger or relocating
    The other properties, which were over six miles away, were unsuitable. We don't know why they were unsuitable.

    I can't comment on the lodger situation. Perhaps she was unable to find one. Perhaps as someone with mental health problems she couldn't live with another person?

    The problem with discussing individual cases is that we know little about the details.
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    (Original post by River85)

    Where do you think that someone who is unable to work, who may be without friends and family, to find £20 every single week.
    By making adjustments to their weekly budget. Despite often coming across as a little brash (re: ********) I am genuinely always ready to change my point of view on topics of discussion so I apologise if I haven't given that impression yet in this thread.

    But I don't earn a wage at the moment, I'm on the 'minimum' JSA, Housing and council tax benefits. I still have enough money to spend about £60 a month on 'luxuries' (for me that's pretty much my internet bill and my smoking habit)

    If the government reduced my £140 a fortnight JSA to £100 a fortnight JSA I would have to move into a cheaper house pretty quickly unless I wanted to get into debt. No where along that line would it be the governments fault for abandoning me in my vulnerable state.

    The discussion of this particular case we can agree to leave to the side here, I think we agree that the options available to people aren't always obvious, and people are often not in a fit state to make the decisions.

    I find it very hard to believe that there is anyone in the UK so devoid of opportunity they have to be spoon-fed their entire lives. We're so drowning in opportunities to improve our lot that the hard part is deciding which to take, not finding one.
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    (Original post by AeneasBK)
    By making adjustments to their weekly budget. Despite often coming across as a little brash (re: ********) I am genuinely always ready to change my point of view on topics of discussion so I apologise if I haven't given that impression yet in this thread.

    But I don't earn a wage at the moment, I'm on the 'minimum' JSA, Housing and council tax benefits. I still have enough money to spend about £60 a month on 'luxuries' (for me that's pretty much my internet bill and my smoking habit)

    If the government reduced my £140 a fortnight JSA to £100 a fortnight JSA I would have to move into a cheaper house pretty quickly unless I wanted to get into debt. No where along that line would it be the governments fault for abandoning me in my vulnerable state.
    I know some people living on benefits aren't too badly off. I would be entitled to more benefits than you, so can chose to move out and live with friends. I can have my rent, council tax and bills paid and receive all the money I need for clothes, food and luxuries. All without working. These luxuries will be more expensive than yours, or I can chose to even save some money. Mind, this wouldn't be a sustainable way to live given that benefits can change. However, that I can do this is because of my specific set of circumstances. Not everyone lives this way.

    Some people change their spending, yes. They'll be able to see where they can make savings and make the appropriate savings themselves. Others might need to rely on help from other people or organisations.

    However, there are still a small number of people who are struggling to make basic ends meet, especially those who are already in fuel poverty. Fuel bills are continuing to rise above earnings, let alone benefit "increases" (which, as they are below inflation, are cuts).

    This lady had a disability but, according to the media, didn't receive disability benefits. She may therefore have faced additional medical related expenses that an average person does not.

    The discussion of this particular case we can agree to leave to the side here, I think we agree that the options available to people aren't always obvious, and people are often not in a fit state to make the decisions.
    Fair enough.

    I find it very hard to believe that there is anyone in the UK so devoid of opportunity they have to be spoon-fed their entire lives.
    Apart from the severely disabled?

    Oh, and I should say that under Universal Credit, the Severe Disability Premium is being removed. So we are potentially talking about more than a £20 or so decrease in benefits. For example, I think the Severe Disability Premium for JSA is worth £50 a week. This can result in a drop of probably £50 to 100 a week for those eligible when taking both JSA and HB combined. Combine this with the fact that DLA is being changed to PIP, which is harder to claim and will see the removal of certain categories (resulting in a further drop of income for some).

    So the housing benefit changes cannot be looked at alone.
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    There's never one single reason for someone to commit suicide, but a combination of events and situations.

    It would be wrong to use her death to attack the spare-room subsidy oops I mean bedroom tax.
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    So basically (sorry to return to the individual) if she had said in her note "Its the governments continuing abandonment of the needed support for the mentally unwell that has lead to me making this decision" as opposed to blaming the bedroom tax in particular, none of this thread would probably have happened...

    I think my perspective on this is heavily influenced by my own impression of depression, which is largely that as a comparative thing, we all suffer from depression, some people cope with it better than others, and I feel the societal attitude towards it should be much more on the vein of "Chin up, there's far less fortunate people than you out there" rather than "Oh you must have a disease, we can cure that for you but otherwise you're helpless to it!" We live in the developed world. People feeling suicidal over first world problems, its still suicidal feelings but it lacks perspective I feel.

    That above paragraph goes slightly off-topic I admit
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    (Original post by River85)
    Not particularly. I believe we can also have a wider discussion about the bedroom "tax" and how ill thought the policy is and how it is targeting some of the most vulnerable in society.

    Not according to the media. She had a disability and was not fit for work, but didn't claim disability benefits.

    How do you know the family could afford the £20 a week? That's over 1k a year?

    The other properties, which were over six miles away, were unsuitable. We don't know why they were unsuitable.

    I can't comment on the lodger situation. Perhaps she was unable to find one. Perhaps as someone with mental health problems she couldn't live with another person?

    The problem with discussing individual cases is that we know little about the details.
    Yes, but as we have been given a lot of information on the case already, we can attempt to discuss the details. Some might want to start with questioning why was the house unsuitable, did she really have a disability that made the house unsuitable? Much is made of this disability, but it seems that she may not have even been eligible for disabled benefits, since she chose not to claim them. Apparently it was Myasthenia Gravis?

    As to its location, apparently it was six miles away from her previous house, in or around Solihull. That's pretty much the urban conglomeration that makes up Birmingham, so I find it hard to believe that there is no suitable public transport in the area nearby to enable her to get around. Claims have been bandied around that the nearest bus stop was thirty minutes walk away? In my view, and I'm happy to be proved wrong, it's hard to accept the "no bus route within 30 minutes' walk" claim as true of Solihull.

    And as for miles away from family and friends, get the bus to see family, and get them to come and visit you. Be an unusual family all to live within walking distance anyway, and even more unusual for no one to have any personal transport whatsoever. Same goes for old friends if they really are worth the trouble and think you are worth the trouble in return. There is also the possibility of making new friends.

    We all have to move away sometimes, because of our work or a partner's work, or because of money. That's how it is even if you have a bit of cash, and anyone who lives a life believing otherwise has unrealistic expectations.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Much is made of this disability, but it seems that she may not have even been eligible for disabled benefits, since she chose not to claim them
    Not sure we can really tell much from her choice not to claim can we?

    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Apparently it was Myasthenia Gravis?
    A potentially life threatening and debilitating condition aggravated by over exertion and stress.
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    (Original post by n00)
    Not sure we can really tell much from her choice not to claim can we?
    No, I suppose we can't. We could probably allude to the fact that her condition may not have been serious enough to entitle her to such benefits though.

    (Original post by n00)
    A potentially life threatening and debilitating condition aggravated by over exertion and stress.
    Potentially. In that case I am surprised she was not entitled to disability benefits, even before the recent tightening up of the eligibility requirements

    I accept it can be different in different people, still, I don't imagine that it was serious enough to prevent her walking such a short distance to a nearby bus stop as is claimed.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Yes, but as we have been given a lot of information on the case already, we can attempt to discuss the details. Some might want to start with questioning why was the house unsuitable, did she really have a disability that made the house unsuitable? Much is made of this disability, but it seems that she may not have even been eligible for disabled benefits, since she chose not to claim them. Apparently it was Myasthenia Gravis?
    There can be several reasons why she didn't claim/wasn't receiving benefits. Perhaps she wasn't aware of the support or that she'd be entitled? She didn't view her medical condition as a disability? Perhaps she did claim but was denied the benefits?

    If she was refused them then this doesn't tell us she didn't have sufficient mobility and care needs. Strong DLA applications are frequently rejected and then sometimes granted on appeal. Decisions are made by people who are not medical experts, or at least experts in all conditions, and the chances of success often depends on how well you jump through hoops and can fill in forms.

    As to its location, apparently it was six miles away from her previous house, in or around Solihull. That's pretty much the urban conglomeration that makes up Birmingham, so I find it hard to believe that there is no suitable public transport in the area nearby to enable her to get around. Claims have been bandied around that the nearest bus stop was thirty minutes walk away? In my view, and I'm happy to be proved wrong, it's hard to accept the "no bus route within 30 minutes' walk" claim as true of Solihull.
    Yes, I know where Solihull is, and I expect that in this case public transport is reasonable (though how good the lady's health was, and was she was able/could afford to use public transport, is another issue).

    Public transport isn't free. Not for most people.

    And as for miles away from family and friends, get the bus to see family, and get them to come and visit you.
    Not the same as being closer to them, and unfortunately it's often the case that people get too "busy" too see relatives as often as they'd like once they live further apart.

    Although I haven't done substantial research into this, I do believe that one reason for the rise in mental health problems over the last few generations is due to families living further apart.

    Be an unusual family all to live within walking distance anyway, and even more unusual for no one to have any personal transport whatsoever.
    Not especially. My parents live next door to my grandmother (and before this they still spent most of their past 40 years living a ten minute walk away and never any further than a longer walk or car/bus journey). My uncle lives at the other side of the village. My cousin lives in a small village down the road.

    Admittedly my brother lives 300 miles away in London, and I'm about to move back out of the immediate area and will likely move out of the region in the next year or two, but my family's situation isn't unusual where I live.

    We all have to move away sometimes, because of our work or a partner's work, or because of money. That's how it is even if you have a bit of cash, and anyone who lives a life believing otherwise has unrealistic expectations.
    Indeed we do, though, again, I think this is a shame and does result in greater mental health problems.

    However, in this instance people are being forced to move due to an unfair and ill thought out change to the welfare system that is affecting some of the most vulnerable in our society.
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    (Original post by River85)
    There can be several reasons why she didn't claim/wasn't receiving benefits. Perhaps she wasn't aware of the support or that she'd be entitled? She didn't view her medical condition as a disability? Perhaps she did claim but was denied the benefits?
    Well that would be down to her GP then surely, who would have been treating her ongoing illness, as far as I am aware, MG is treatable with medication. Or even her family. And up until recently, all that was needed was to be certified by a GP, which is why a significant proportion of all those on disability dropped their claim when they were told to come in for an assessment. Now you can say what you like about ATOS and their methods, but if you believed you were entitled to disability, why would you drop your claim before the assessment?

    Getting back to the point, there is no mention of her being denied the benefits, or being kicked off them due to an ATOS assessment. Do you think that the Daily Mirror would have wasted no column inches telling us that if that had been the case? More likely than not is that she didn't see herself as eligible and neither did the medical professionals she had contact with.

    (Original post by River85)
    If she was refused them then this doesn't tell us she didn't have sufficient mobility and care needs. Strong DLA applications are frequently rejected and then sometimes granted on appeal. Decisions are made by people who are not medical experts, or at least experts in all conditions, and the chances of success often depends on how well you jump through hoops and can fill in forms.
    I'm inclined to believe that she wasn't refused them, and more likely wasn't eligible. You can't suppose that she was refused them, as pointed out above, there would have been even more political points to be won if it could be shown by the media that the government's welfare reforms kicked a disabled woman off her disability benefits who then went on to kill herself.

    (Original post by River85)
    Yes, I know where Solihull is, and I expect that in this case public transport is reasonable (though how good the lady's health was, and was she was able/could afford to use public transport, is another issue).

    Public transport isn't free. Not for most people.
    No it isn't free. In the absence of information to the contrary though, it is reasonable to assume that people are able to use public transport.

    (Original post by River85)
    Not the same as being closer to them, and unfortunately it's often the case that people get too "busy" too see relatives as often as they'd like once they live further apart.

    Although I haven't done substantial research into this, I do believe that one reason for the rise in mental health problems over the last few generations is due to families living further apart.
    Totally agree with that, but as I said, hardly anyone gets to choose where they want to live because they cannot afford to.

    (Original post by River85)
    Not especially. My parents live next door to my grandmother (and before this they still spent most of their past 40 years living a ten minute walk away and never any further than a longer walk or car/bus journey). My uncle lives at the other side of the village. My cousin lives in a small village down the road.

    Admittedly my brother lives 300 miles away in London, and I'm about to move back out of the immediate area and will likely move out of the region in the next year or two, but my family's situation isn't unusual where I live.
    Well, like I said, it is unusual to a: all live within walking distance and b: no one to have any personal transport whatsoever.

    (Original post by River85)
    Indeed we do, though, again, I think this is a shame and does result in greater mental health problems.

    However, in this instance people are being forced to move due to an unfair and ill thought out change to the welfare system that is affecting some of the most vulnerable in our society.
    It is a terribly terribly sad situation which is nothing short of a tragedy, but blaming the government's policies on this is about as reasonable as blaming her two children who moved out, leaving her alone to find the money to keep the extra rooms going after they had left - after all, you can just as well say that if they had stayed living with her, she wouldn't have been affected by having two empty rooms, not to mention keep an eye on her obviously fragile mental state.

    But you can't blame the government for refusing to pay for a three bedroom house for a single person any more than you can blame your children for wanting their independence and fleeing the nest.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Well that would be down to her GP then surely, who would have been treating her ongoing illness, as far as I am aware, MG is treatable with medication. Or even her family. And up until recently, all that was needed was to be certified by a GP, which is why a significant proportion of all those on disability dropped their claim when they were told to come in for an assessment. Now you can say what you like about ATOS and their methods, but if you believed you were entitled to disability, why would you drop your claim before the assessment?
    Even with medical evidence claims are often rejected. When applying for DLA is a person is required to give details of their GP, and evidence from a GP has always been sought. I've known people whose GP has provided evidence, and they have also provided evidence through another medical professional (e.g. psychologist) and still had their claim rejected. These claims are usually successful on appeal as they go to a more knowledgeable, experienced decision maker.

    You'll also find few medical professionals will inform a person of their entitlement to benefits. They are medical professionals, not benefit advisers. They, certainly doctors, will see it as no business of theirs and just assume that if a person needs the support then they are aware of it and will apply.

    Besides benefits there are other things that are available but not well known. For example, we hear all the time of concessionary travel for pensioners, but rarely those with disabilities. If the lady's condition is as bad as the media are reporting then I'd be surprised if she was medically fit to drive. If she wasn't medically fit to drive then she'd have been entitled to a concessionary bus pass which would have given her free bus travel across England.

    Getting back to the point, there is no mention of her being denied the benefits, or being kicked off them due to an ATOS assessment. Do you think that the Daily Mirror would have wasted no column inches telling us that if that had been the case? More likely than not is that she didn't see herself as eligible and neither did the medical professionals she had contact with.
    According to the media (at least the Mirror and Sky articles) she was told by doctors she was too ill to work. However, she never received disability benefits as she wasn't "registered disabled". I have absolutely no idea what they mean by "registered disabled" as there is no such thing. This may be confusion/misunderstanding on the part of the lady and the family, thinking that one needs to be registered disabled in order to apply for benefits, and has been passed onto the media. We don't know.

    All we can take from the media stories is that the doctors told her she was too unwell to work. If this is true then she would likely have been eligible for Employment and Support Allowance and perhaps DLA.

    I'm inclined to believe that she wasn't refused them, and more likely wasn't eligible. You can't suppose that she was refused them, as pointed out above, there would have been even more political points to be won if it could be shown by the media that the government's welfare reforms kicked a disabled woman off her disability benefits who then went on to kill herself.
    I'm not assuming she was denied them, just putting it out as a possibility. It's probably more likely that she wasn't aware of what help was available. It's also a possibility that she wouldn't have been entitled to many benefits.

    This, and the fact that someone's suicide rarely results from one single thing, is why I don't particularly like using this single case.

    However, this case likely does demonstrate, or at least draw attention to, the many people up and down the country who do need help but aren't aware of what help is available to them.

    Well, like I said, it is unusual to a: all live within walking distance and b: no one to have any personal transport whatsoever.
    I don't think it is that unusual. I think this largely depends on where in the country you live.

    It is a terribly terribly sad situation which is nothing short of a tragedy, but blaming the government's policies on this is about as reasonable as blaming her two children who moved out, leaving her alone to find the money to keep the extra rooms going after they had left - after all, you can just as well say that if they had stayed living with her, she wouldn't have been affected by having two empty rooms, not to mention keep an eye on her obviously fragile mental state.
    And I'm not blaming the government for her death. Her death likely resulted from a range of factors. If she was in poor health, then it's likely the psychological effects of her health took a toll. We also don't know what personal problems she had.

    As I mentioned earlier, my chief concern is that she didn't receive some of the help that she was likely entitled to.

    Plus there are people up and down the country who are facing substantial cuts to their income as a result of HB cuts and are unable to move, or can move but face a substantial knock on effect on their quality of life which will lead to further mental health problems and therefore greater expense to the state.

    But you can't blame the government for refusing to pay for a three bedroom house for a single person any more than you can blame your children for wanting their independence and fleeing the nest.
    I can criticise the government for brining in a half-arsed benefit changes. There are perfectly legitimate reasons why some people need a house with at least one spare bedroom.
 
 
 
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