Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Activists March on Streatham Jobcentre over Forced Therapy.

with 35 comments

Mental Health Resistance Network. 


The Void reports on the action,

Around 100 people marched on Streatham Jobcentre today in a fantastic start to the fight against forced psychological treatments for unemployed, sick and disabled claimants.

Protesters gathered in Streatham Memorial Gardens with many carrying banners showing the growing anger at the collaboration of mental health workers and charities with the DWP’s workfare and benefit sanctions regime.  At just after 2pm the protest took to the streets, taking over the busy road before fnally arriving outside the Jobcentre which now also contains much of Lambeth’s mental health services.

The ever present G4S security guards blocked campaigners from entering the Jobcentre, with one member of staff informing the amused crowd that there were no jobs available today.  What bungling Jobcentre workers didn’t realise is that several people were already inside the building where they proceeded to disrupt the opening party of the so-called Living Well Network Hub and hung a banner out of the window to large cheers from the crowd.

The Guardian says,

Mental health workers and their clients marched on a jobcentre in south-west London in protest at a scheme they say frames unemployment as a psychological disorder.

The Department for Work and Pensions announced in March that Streatham’s jobcentre would be the first to have therapists giving mental health support to help unemployed people back into work.

The DWP has now said that announcement was a mistake. But by coincidence, next week Lambeth council will open a £1.9m mental health clinic in the same building.

Mental health workers and service users, furious at what they see as an attempt to embed psychological treatment in a back-to-work agenda, were to go ahead with their demonstration anyway.

They said they regarded Lambeth’s decision to locate the borough’s main community mental health centre in the same building as the jobcentre as being in the spirit of the plan to give psychological treatment to the unemployed.

Anger has been growing since the March budget announced a scheme to bring counsellors into jobcentres to offer “integrated employment and mental health support to claimants with common mental health conditions”.

Under the plan, therapists from the NHS’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme would support jobcentre staff to assess and treat claimants, who may be referred to online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) courses.

According to a recent DWP reply to a Freedom of Information request, the therapists would provide “Nice [National Institute for Health and Care Excellence]-approved and evidence-based psychological therapies to treat people with depression and anxiety disorders”.

The letter from the DWP went on: “Given that confidential space to deliver therapy is available in Jobcentre Plus premises, IAPT services will be conducting assessments and face-to-face therapy sessions in jobcentres, in the same way that they are provided in other community settings.

“Supported online CBT will be conducted through computers, via instant messaging and video communication tools, and via telephone.”

Advocates point to the correlation between poverty and mental health problems and say helping people back to work could aid their recoveries. Offering therapy to people on benefits could help them deal with the worst psychological effects of joblessness, they say.

More via link (above).

Also: Saturday 27th June, National Day of Action against B&M Bargains – the DWP’s pet exploiter.

35 Responses

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  1. A JOBCENTRE was occupied by mental health campaigners in south London yesterday in protest at the Tory government’s plans to make jobseekers accept psychotherapy or face benefit sanctions.

    A group of protesters entered Streatham jobcentre and set off a siren, disrupting a meeting and gaining the attention of staff, who clustered at the windows to see the rest of the demonstrators outside, who included members of Psychiatrists Against Austerity and the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

    The occupiers went to a top-floor window to unfurl a banner which read: “Back to work therapy is no therapy at all.”

    The floor above the centre is where a new £1.9 million Lambeth Community Mental Health Services clinic is set to be opened.

    Denise McKenna of the Mental Health Resistance Network told the Star that the protesters were challenged by security and left the building peacefully after being told by staff that they would “be happy to discuss the issue at a later date.”

    The Tory manifesto set out that cognitive behavioural therapy would be embedded in the party’s controversial back-to-work programmes while refusers’ benefits would be slashed.

    Dr Peter Kinderman, professor of clinical psychology at University of Liverpool, said: “This is particularly ironic given that poverty and social inequality are significant contributory factors to many long-term health and mental-health difficulties in the first place.”

    Ms McKenna said that she knew people who would be “terrified” to go to a jobcentre for psychotherapy. “The whole thing stinks, it’s disgusting,” she said.

    Green Party work and pensions spokesman Jonathan Bartley said that conducting psychotheraphy in or close to jobcentres is “abusive” and “threatens to undermine the principle of ‘informed consent’ in healthcare.”

    He added: “Jobcentres are an entirely inappropriate setting for psychological assessment and treatment. Therapy entered into under any form of coercion, whether it is real or perceived, is not desirable, legitimate or ethical.”

    The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies said it did not “recognise the validity or applicability of generalised psychological explanations of social issues such as joblessness.

    Morning Star.


    Andrew Coates

    June 27, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    • I have been out tonight and talking to a people about the Cognitive Psychotherapies in JC’s and varies other topics,- the reality, most don’t know what there are, because they just go about their business and of course don’t have to yet go to a JC, so many people just know the truth and what is really happening because their living in another world so to speak, so don’t think that anything’s wrong, these are the people that vote tory and so don’t think nothing bad can happen to them ,


      June 28, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    • Refrusers to treatment will be sanctioned , I would as others would know that claimants would not be sanctioned but their benefits would stop,


      June 28, 2015 at 8:23 pm

  2. Obi Wan Kenobi

    June 27, 2015 at 10:19 pm

  3. YO, IDS we don’t need this crap, we enjoy what we do so ‘UP YOURS’.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    June 27, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    • IDS promised you a good job (at the ministry of employment) ‘NO WAY’ £6.50p an hour – what a CROCK.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      June 27, 2015 at 11:10 pm

  4. Obi Wan Kenobi

    June 27, 2015 at 10:39 pm

  5. Anybody been put on an MWA or CWP?

    Well your working for nothing – £0.00p.

    That’s Cameron’s big fuck up of a totally usesless society…Enjoy!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    June 27, 2015 at 11:00 pm

  6. Even the Greek Govt. aren’t subjecting their unemployed to IDS’s fucked regime.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    June 27, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    • Welcome back, Obi.

      jj joop

      June 28, 2015 at 9:16 am

      • Indeed,

        Andrew Coates

        June 28, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      • +1


        June 28, 2015 at 10:42 pm

  7. All i can say is nuke the jobcentres around london sack the staff, and employ a new company to mananage the zero hrs slave labour market. And perhaps you can stop immigration now


    June 28, 2015 at 6:21 am

    • address,

      I suspect that is what is coming – downside? it willbe placed in the hands of provate companies and all they’ll be looking for is increased profits, so in fact the immigration issue will become a flood…


      June 28, 2015 at 4:59 pm

  8. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.


    June 28, 2015 at 4:18 pm

  9. Work Programme Plus is coming!

    Hat-tip: gaia (keep posting)

    This short video is by practising knobhead, Paul Warner of the AELP ( Association of Employment and Learning Providers). Nope, I’ve never heard of the fucker or his association, either. However, he is talking about the new Work Programme Plus.

    Reading between the lines, it looks like we’re going to have to go back on the programme when Universal Credit kicks in. Anyone know what he’s on about? First I’ve heard about it.

    jj joop

    June 28, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    • And for goodness sake man, put a bloody tie on. There’s no more disagreeable spectacle than suited types trying to look like they’re down with the proles. And that haircut: it’s pure 1970s. He looks like Peter Robinson of the DUP. This ain’t Northern Ireland, you twit.

      jj joop

      June 28, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    • Work Programme Plus Documentation

      On a slightly lighter note: it would appear a Freedom of information request has been made for the above.


      jj joop

      June 28, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      • We’ will look forward to the reply on or before the27th,


        June 28, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    • It’s a never ending gravy train. http://www.aelp.org.uk/about

      Another Fine Mess

      June 28, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      • Just looked at the link. My God. It’s pimp heaven.

        jj joop

        June 29, 2015 at 7:34 am

  10. Is this NHS funded or European Union social funded? there’s a number of questions to be asked about the policy of referring people to courses regardless of suitability in the hope of gaining sanctions’ at the claimants non compliance,this is clearly an abuse of this funding.

    Skills conditionality is another example,where the goal is stated to improve employment skills however its geared to achieving a qualification and little or nothing to do with the former, many are struggling and not achieving through no fault of their own often having a disability again referred without consideration to suitability, some having been put on mandatory work activity previously.


    June 28, 2015 at 11:00 pm

  11. This looks an interesting series.


    June 28, 2015 at 11:20 pm

  12. ken

    June 28, 2015 at 11:27 pm

  13. Oh dear.


    June 29, 2015 at 12:15 am

    • Here is the link to this informative series



      June 29, 2015 at 9:39 am

      • “ken”

        I’m wondering if the producer of these informative videos has been sentenced to mandatory CBT as a reprisal?

        Perhaps he might be producing a video on that thorny subject soon!

        Of course, most people will just quietly submit to all these DWP abuses, something that the DWP know only too well.


        June 29, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      • Would that be Cock and Ball Torture! I’d love to give a session to IDS and Cameron.

        Parker Pyne

        June 29, 2015 at 1:33 pm

  14. The government intends to put strict limits on the “excessive fees” some lawyers claim in medical negligence cases against the NHS in England.



    New guidelines are being unveiled for doctors, nurses and midwives across the UK on being honest and open with patients when things go wrong.



    June 29, 2015 at 3:19 am

  15. Families with two or more children will be more than £2,000 worse off by the next election because of a freeze on child benefit, the TUC claims – and that is without anticipating any other austerity measures in next week’s budget.



    June 29, 2015 at 3:52 am

  16. ATOS KILLS!!

    June 29, 2015 at 3:18 pm

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