Treat people with dignity and humanity

Call for the removal of benefit sanctions for people with mental health difficulties.

The British Psychological Society has joined eight other leading mental health organisations in calling for the removal of benefit sanctions for people with mental health difficulties. Also supported by the Mental Health Foundation, Rethink, UK Council for Psychotherapy, and others, the joint statement was launched at the New Savoy Annual Conference in London.

It states that the social security system too often treats people without dignity and humanity, contributing to and worsening mental health conditions. It calls for everyone living with a mental health condition to be supported in gaining financial security, whether through the social security system or appropriate help in returning to or gaining paid work.

However, the statement makes clear that no one with a mental health condition should ever be forced to look for work, or face the threat of having their benefit payments reduced. Sanctions such as these have not been shown to work, and are not safe for people with mental health difficulties or those dependent on them. As a result, the consensus statement says that they should be stopped.

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