Skip to main content

After the Trust Has Gone

I feel I should play something sickly-sweet by Peter Cetera to underline so melodramatic a title.

Maybe not, I don't think my psyche could cope with that level of schmaltz.

Why has the trust gone?

It's about a relationship with the people who support you. So far the people I'd been seeing at Team North Somerset had actually turned out to be pretty helpful - certainly compared to the dismal experiences with other agencies and social enterprises (or however they identify themselves). This must be understood of course within the context of the prevailing systems that dominate our society (insert standard reference to capitalism). In other words, they can do something, but not really enough because they can't change the government, it's ideology and it's policies to that end.

Initially I was told they (the North Somerset people, not the bloody government) were hoping to get a 'wellbeing' programme of some kind in place. I was told this a few times since I started. However it was only last Friday, after my advisor returned from being sick, that I found out that programme had been running for eight weeks, had only a couple more weeks left before starting again in the new year. Nobody saw fit to tell me this and I was told that the group that had started there were already pretty close (in other words, no point joining at this late stage).

Now I have no doubts this programme will be the usual ineffectual 'feel good' bullshit that ultimately permeated the mindfulness course. It's cut from the same cloth: focus on the subject, not the cause. I don't blame the tutor, who seemed friendly enough (and I've no reason to assume otherwise). But it's better than doing nothing, and, at this time of year, the black dog of depression is even closer to the door than the rest of the time. This is not a positive period and I could use all the help I can get - who knows the group might well comprise good people. We're all in it together of course.

So that's a thing that didn't happen.

Another thing that didn't happen is that I didn't get a letter from the Jobcentre telling me I have a work focussed interview on the day after my WCA. Fortunately it will be by phone (if I can be bothered, because honestly right now...), and doubly fortunately it's in the morning. I'm off to a writing class in the afternoon and the JC can fuck off if they think I'm missing that just to have a conversation that will prove completely pointless given the timing.

You might think that they, when booking this, might use a system that shares information such as when the 'customer' (I'm buying nothing) is having a WCA. What's the point of discussing anything work focussed when I might not even be on ESA any longer? It's not as if they can help anyway, what can some random advisor do over the phone? Can he magic up some paid work that's suitable for someone with depression?

I think we know the answer to that.

Meanwhile over the weekend a bunch of people in town protested the closure of Weston super Mare's accident and emergency department. Yes, from July, you'd better not be sick ill or dying between the hours of 10pm and 8am because you'll need an extra 45 minutes and an entirely different hospital to help you not die. Well done to our useless pillock of an MP, John Penrose, who just so happens to be married to Baroness (oh my!) Dido Harding, another revolting strand of Tory DNA.

She's the newly appointed chair of NHS Improvement. We live in times that look at irony in the rear view mirror.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I Fucking Hate the Work Programme

That did not go well.
My legs were wobbly to begin with as I closed in on the church that passes for the office of the employment wing of the Salvation Army. My appointment was 3 to half past. I really did feel sick. Pretty early on, when he asked for the forms he gave me last time to fill in, I knew that what was arranged on the letter (a short interview with me bringing my CV and jobsearch) was actually going to be much longer. I also knew that, come half three when I had to leave to catch my bus back ten minutes later, I was going to have problems. 
Unfortunately, though more for me I fear, it never got that far; at 20 past he terminated the interview citing my apparent 'putting up barriers' as the reason not to continue. This was because I refused consent for him to keep my CV. I asked why he needed it and offered, three times, to show it to him (that's all), he said it was to apply for jobs on my behalf. The EEC's need this information.
What's an EEC? Employm…

Into the Mirror

So tomorrow morning is my WCA. Needless to say I am not looking forward to it, and that would be an understatement. It's currently sitting in my mind, refusing to leave, cooking up a stultifying negativity. That's the thing with depression; it's a presence that, even if you manage to distract yourself for a time, it returns with hammer-like vengeance. That feeling alone is enough to make the problem of depression the horrible reality it is. Sucker punched by your own thoughts.

Logically - as if we live in a logical society - I should pass. My situation is unchanged from last year. However that is exactly why I won't pass. You might think it reasonable to simply report that fact, but the simplicity of doing so, the ease of process, is exactly why you can't. Instead I will be seen, likely by someone different, and asked the same questions; some of which will not be relevant but part of the deceptive nature of the process. For example, being asked 'how did you get…

The State of Services

So it appears that 1in4, a mental health support service I used briefly last year and have mentioned (not always favourably), is among the latest victims of austerity, along with Second Step, who are primarily a housing association. They were never very helpful in my experience, but they don't really provide services pertinent to my needs. Emblematic of these destructive decisions (regardless of my opinion of the services) is that neither have updated their websites to report on this turn of events at this time.

It's a pretty sad state of affairs, to say the least. No alternatives seem to be forthcoming. From what I have gleaned, the attitude of the (Tory) council is that they don't want such people as would be service users in this leafy green shire. This is for the posh and the perfect. Nearby Bristol is where we 'should' go, but of course without being a resident that's impossible. Services do not extend beyond the city limits, even though Avon Wiltshire Men…