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Mentally ill at risk over benefits, Skipton MP Julian Smith is told
9:00am Friday 18th October 2013 in News
Local mental health groups met Skipton MP Julian Smith to voice concerns about the new benefit system.
They claim it could discriminate against people with mental-health problems because it is much more difficult to prove depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder than a physical disability, particularly with public service cuts.
Spokesman Peter Van Der Gucht said: “The sad reality is far from voluntary groups being in a position to fill in the gaps left by statutory services, the voluntary sector is struggling to manage financially.
“Both Craven Mind and Advocacy have had to close their offices and Mind can no longer hold monthly meetings and is working in partnership with York Mind to keep going.
“At national level, Bipolar UK has been under threat of closure, putting at risk the invaluable work they do.”
The meeting with Mr Smith coincided with the 30th anniversary of setting up the Manic Depression Fellowship, now Bipolar UK, which provides important support and advice for sufferers, their family and friends in partnership with a range of experts and professionals as well as a network of local self-help groups, including Airedale Bipolar Group, which has been running for over 25 years.
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