Association of Mental Health Providers

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MHPF response to MP George Freeman’s comments on disability benefits

MHPF was deeply disappointed to hear the comments from George Freeman MP, the Head of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit, suggesting that welfare spending, specifically Personal Independence Payments [PIP], should prioritise “really disabled people” rather than those who were “taking pills at home, who suffer from anxiety.”

It is vital for people to understand the real and lasting effects mental ill health can have for people and their friends and family, and that we do not undo progress regarding parity of esteem for people mental health conditions or undermine the commitments made by the Prime Minister in January of this year. It is essential that the stigma and discrimination that is associated with mental ill health is tackled.

We welcome Mr Freeman’s subsequent comments regarding the ‘need to prioritise the most serious disabilities’ and hope that mental illness continues to receive the attention it needs.