We have decided to circulate a brief newsletter following-up on the issues raised in our recent Open Letter to the Guardian, which has been shared over 6500 times, along with other related developments in the psy field.
• Psychological therapy located in Jobcentres
Following our Guardian letter, a group of therapist, psychologist, disability and social security benefits campaigners met in May to discuss working together to protest at the prospect of coercive therapy and mental health treatment being located in Jobcentres.
The meeting supported the Mental Health Resistance Network’s open letter on the issue, as well as the protest at Streatham Jobcentre Plus on Friday 26th June. Please take a look at the Open Letter and circulate it among interested colleagues. Join us on the 26th if you can. Also see the MHRN Facebook page for newsreel coverage of campaigning around DWP policies and mental health.
There has been considerable media and professional response to the growing thrust by the Government to link social security benefits, mental health and IAPT style psychological therapies within the toxic context of Jobcentres, WCA’s and benefits sanctions. See, for example, this excellent piece by Lynne Friedli and Robert Stearn. Professional bodies are beginning to publicly address the ethical issues raised by “get to work” therapy – e.g. BACP, BPS.
The Alliance is building a resource and news update section on its website on this issue, and will circulate links when it is available. Meanwhile, please contact us with any developments, ideas and relevant resources from your networks: firstname.lastname@example.org
• March Against Austerity
The Alliance is joining the People’s Assembly march against austerity in London this Saturday – 20th June – under its new banner. Join us at 12 noon outside Jo Malone, 24 Royal Exchange Building, at Bank.
• Big Issue(s) Conference organised by Psychotherapy and Counselling for Social Responsibility – 26th September
This PCSR conference is intended as an opportunity for practitioners to express their concerns about the current direction of counselling and psychotherapy, and discuss plans for action. Take a look at the programme for the conference and its booking form here.