Just as with long term physical conditions, people with mental health issues often need extra financial support. Personal Independence Payments are supposed to provide that, but the application process can be long, complex and stressful.
I recently met with local community mental health workers and learned that they often spend hours with individuals helping them complete application forms, gather evidence, attend assessment interviews and contest any appeals.
We have a high demand for mental health services and I want to see more people accessing the assessment, treatment and care that they need to live a better life. Part of the solution is better funding and more trained mental health professionals, but clearly there is the chance here to free up more hours in the day for our existing mental health workers to help people.
It’s common sense. If you have to spend half a day taking someone to Preston to support them through an assessment interview, that’s half a day you’re not able to see other people who may need help.
If PIP is so complex that it risks putting people into a financial and mental crisis unless they have NHS staff to guide them through the process it simply isn’t working.
I have tabled a motion in Parliament this week asking the Government to simplify the process to reduce demand on mental health workers and ultimately give them more time to give care and support to a greater number of people.
Early Day Motion 2398 will remain open for any MP to add their name in support. https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/52930/personal-independence-payment-and-mental-health-services