♫ Battle Symphony ♫

Another Linkin Park song and this one has lyrics that we will all define in a different way. For me these lyrics are saying “I use Music to battle” whatever that battle is. We ALL have a battle going on, we all find coping mechanisms to help us fight our battles. For me it’s always Music. My family and close friends are a given in terms of ‘They are my first thought” but outside that Music is the saviour of my soul and mind. I find getting lost in a song, the lyrics, the beat; we can own it and play it till it gets stuck in our minds for days and days, even forever. I had one of my sons visit me during the week and his Wife, an amazing woman joked about my son “He plays the same song for days on end” 😀 But this is something my own partner says about me. It is a running joke, just fun that some of us use Music to heal ourselves. Just find the right lyrics or right words and it can make us turn to something else. As I always say, when we lost #Anger #Hate and #Fear, we become something else. But it ain’t easy, to try and lose these 3 emotions is a battle. Being #Anger is easy, being #Hate is easy, being #Fear is Human. Being the opposite of these 3 emotions takes hard work as the basic human instinct is to hate, to be angry and to be fearful. I have been anger, I have been hate and I am often fearful still. But all I can do, same as you, is try. All anyone can do it try, maybe not for ourselves, but we must find reason, even when there is no reason. Again, just my own thoughts.Thought I can have and own from time to time. Written by someone who loves me and helps me every day of her life FOR FREE. I did not promise her this life, but I do what I can.

I worry more for others than myself. We live in a World where GREED has poisoned the souls of the people in charge, and those of you who can read this MIGHT think your life is awful, trust me it could be worse! You could be in Syria, Iraq or worse Yemen where Genocide happens daily with the use of bombs and bullets paid for with money that COULD build hospitals, hire Dr’s, help the poor and in need. I know many people don’t help themselves but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, some people just get thrown a life and it’s hard. Yet the people I voted for don’t have full control. I am helped and I am thankful, but I look to other Countries and my 1st thought when I am allowed to own a thought is “OH HOW LUCKY WE ARE HERE”, wherever Democracy allegedly exists. Yeah, like Spain? Yeah Democracy right?, right?

My own father tells me always “I cry for humanity” and now I am an adult with kids and a life I did not offer to those around me, I see it too. If only our Politicians were not so scared easy to DO BETTER. Money has ruined us all. A clean slate is needed. In the meantime, find God, find whatever gets you through your hell, even if you don’t think you are in or going to hell. The World will judge YOU anyway and our Future will look at our leaders today and say “WHY DID THEY KILL THIS WORLD” Damn us all for allowing our World to have to BATTLE to breath!! In the very sense of the Word. Our Future will spit in our graves and I don’t blame them 😦

~~~~~

Battle Symphony (Official Lyric Video) – Linkin Park
Via: Linkin Park on YouTube

 

~~~~~

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Celebrate the life of Chester Bennington on YouTube. Friday 27th October #LinkinPark #FuckDepression

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington tribute at the Hollywood Bowl will be live-streamed on YouTube this Friday, October 27. According to Billboard, the Linkin Park & Friends Celebrate Life in Honor of Chester Bennington concert will stream online at 7:45 p.m. PT. Early afternoon UK time, late evening for anyone in Australia, look out your own regions GMT and get the time right if you care to watch what will be an emotional night remembering a man who fought his demons, wrote about them and sang them to the World. He may be gone but but his Music is forever. Saying goodbye is choice, I say never say goodbye

The show will mark the first time the band has performed since Bennington’s suicide on July 20. Other acts set to perform include Blink-182, Bring Me The Horizon, Machine Gun Kelly, and Jonathan Davis from Korn.In addition to the tribute show, Linkin Park’s surviving members recently established the One More Light Fund in honor of Bennington as an off-shoot of the Music For Relief organization. Co-founded by Bennington, the nonprofit organization helps provide relief for survivors of natural disasters.

Via: https://johnjayandrich.iheart.com/

Linkin Park YouTube Channel: Linkin Park

[VIDEO] ♫ One More Light ♪ A Song for people tryingto beat sadness
Via Shaun Gibson on YouTube

Chester’s Wife Talinda (Twitter name: @TalindaB ) Tweet Below, is very strong in her message for #FuckDepression. My own natural thoughts as a fellow sufferer, as my Family do too is ‘Why do we say Rest In Peace’ after Death? And not say things like ‘Live in Peace’ when alive? – Why do we leave it too late, why don’t we notice the signs and help more before someome leaves us or ‘The light goes out’ on life? 😦 We must shove the Taboo nature of Suicide to one side and understand for MILLIONS of people it is a living emotion that lasts every waking moment. For many of us going to sleep at night or any time of the day is a quick release, waking up can be the moment we say ‘Enough’ – I can only promise my loved ones ‘I am trying’ alone, to beat Suicide and say #FuckDepression!

#ForChester
#ForEveryone
#ForEarth
#ForAnyoneWithAHeart

**

Some Tweets from around the World:

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♫ One More Light ♫ A Song for people trying to see the World – Imagine

🙏👉🌍🌏🌎👀👈✌️

When we sit down and don’t speak because we may worry what others may think, we oppress ourselves and each other. When we stand up and speak, we liberate ourselves and those around us. Before we can see the World and understand the World around us, first we must understand ourselves, accept ourselves and learn to like ourselves. Only then can we turn and look at the World without the basic human emotions that cloud our every thought, day and impulse. These 3 emotions are #HATE #ANGER and #FEAR. Once we remove, if we can remove these emotions, then life becomes something else, we become something else. Self importance dissipates and we see the World, we hear the World, we become less selfish and more caring towards first our own lives and Worlds, then the actual World itself. Selfish people doing selfish things for selfish gain will in the end be alone, those who decide to reach out are never alone. Down the right-hand side of my blog are video’s, each a video I seen that gave me power of my own thoughts. The video that hit me most is the Charlie Chaplin great dictator speech, it is Words spoken in 1940 when our World was at War, but the Words ring true today, the images speak of the selfish acts that many of us can feel. Some feel, some can’t. We must respect this because to be free is to allow freedom of others, as long as no harm is being done, sadly much harm is happening Globally as I type, as you read. People are in Genocide being killed for Selfish reasons, yet only a few of us care. If each day every living soul awoke with one purpose, example of purpose would be ‘To make one person smile’ Imagine we ALL did this, we could change the World over-night. The very thing many of us crave is in sight, but the blind are blinded by consumption of selfish acts by selfish perverted people. We must stand up, we must unite. I know I am not alone, and neither are you. Will you look only at yourself or will you look at the World and care? I grew up with an elder telling me “I cry for Humanity”, so my Childhood till today has been a journey of discovery of self, my World and yours. Education is simple if we know it exists outside our own front door or even our own minds. Life is hard, yet many make it harder, so logic tells us life can be easier. Living in the moment meant this moment only, moments of self reflection come and go for me personally, what about you?

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♫ For anyone with Mental Health issues ♫

Images and Lyrics. For anyone with Mental Health issues – Chester Bennington – Numb – I myself suffer from Suicidal thoughts and a ton more. But I don’t suffer in silence nor alone. I talk, I speak up, and I have MANY good friends who are like me. Policemen, Trades Workers, Teachers, Sports Coaches, pretty much EVERY level of Society there are people I know who have a daily thought of Suicide. Many call it depression, for me it’s just darkness, sadness.

For anyone with Mental Health issues – Chester Bennington – Numb
Via:  Shaun Gibson on You Tube

NEVER SADNESS FOR ME in-terms of ‘Shaun’, my sadness is for our World. Sadness for the World around me, sadness for the entire World. But when I say this, I know, we all know, many don’t believe us. They think we want sympathy, feeling sorry for us. Not what we want, we just want to talk about together so we don’t lay it on loved ones. Life CAN be that easy, why some resist the easy and make it harder still, is beyond my thoughts. Never in hate…Always in peace and love. Shaun

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♫ One More Light ♫ Linkin Park ♫

This song is just EPIC, the lyrics are what Chester Bennington was telling the World, his Suicide was a shock, a surprise, but only now do we understand Chester was singing his way out. I recently told my Family and loved ones I live with Suicide myself, very hard to come out of that closet, but we must not treat Suicide as a secret nor a Taboo subject. It is a living breathing emotion people deal with on a daily basis. Like I always say ‘Regret is ONLY regret when we allow it to be regret’ As a species we MUST notice each other more, or we live in regret for life. “Who cares when 1 more light goes out” is a lyric, this song speaks to souls. Some will hear morbid, some will hear hope, sadness, but that is Music right? We all hear different things. #SuicideMustHaveAVoice #MusicIsSoulFood

~~~

One More Light (Official Video) – Linkin Park
Via Linkin Park on You Tube

~~~

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Should’ve stayed, were there signs, I ignored?
Can I help you, not to hurt, anymore?

We saw brilliance, when the world, was asleep
There are things that we can have, but can’t keep

[Chorus]
If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In the sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
Or quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do

[Verse 2 ]
The reminders, pull the floor from your feet
In the kitchen, one more chair than you need, oh

And you’re angry, and you should be, it’s not fair
Just ’cause you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it, isn’t there

[Chorus]
If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In the sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
Or quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do

[Instrumental + Bridge]
(I do)

[Chorus/Outro]
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In the sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
Or quicker, quicker

Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do
Well I do

x

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Dying Inside

After doing this blog here “Suicide is not always a ‘One-off-Act’ – It’s a living thought for People “ I got a few ‘Gossips’ from people who ‘should know better’, but also nothing from people I expect to be at our side, our being ‘Me and mine’ – When someone lives with Suicidal thoughts and a whole host of other issues like M.E. (Myalgic Mencephalomyelitis) + Fibromyalgia + PTSD and Psychosis, like I do, they want to die, I want to die, but I have reasons to live more important than myself, but I would love HELP to take the burden away from loved ones who watch me suffer, we don’t want sympathy or ‘What a shame’ and I hate this I get a lot ‘I feel sorry for you Shaun, you been through too much for someone so young”, yeah that tires your soul out that one. Sadly people I know say things like “That stupid fucking blog that Shaun does” But that’s it, they DON’T HELP THE PEOPLE AROUND ME WHO SUFFER BECAUSE OF MY ILLNESS. This is not about me. Think who hurts when one is watching another die, slowly or fast, it makes no fucking difference. This World is horrible, I am suicidal, but I will MAN UP as people say about me. But it is fucking hard to take the next step, the next breath. 5am, been up for a day and a half, pain is like death, my mind is scrambled and tied to the moon. Yet people who claim to ‘Love me’ are reading SOMETHING ELSE HERE, or wishing they had a voice? #NEWSFLASH, you do have a voice. Use it or shut the fuck up. I am aware there are people FAR WORSE than myself, but this is hard, every moment is ‘How can I kill myself’, but here I am, for now anyway. Regret is ONLY regret AFTER the event ❤ Peace

~~~

♫ Dying Inside ♫
Via Shaun Gibson on You Tube

~~~

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Suicide is not always a ‘One-off-Act’ – It’s a living thought for People

When you start reading, keep reading, THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME, YOU WILL SEE! Today is and all across Social Media today I am reading people debate it, some are talking about the way they think they understand Suicide, some are mocking the WEAKNESS of Suicide. Many say “Suicide is the Cowards way out” I disagree personally, for me the thought of Suicide is a thought of ‘Release’ but not for me, for everyone who cares for me. I can’t just get in my car and GO LIVE, I have two little girls here age 8 and 7 years old, THEY ARE MY REASON, when Suicide becomes an option. What are your reasons? Suicide is so very Taboo, some see anger, hate, depression, some just see something else. Today I come out of my closet and say “I live with Suicide every waking moment” and for me this is a small victory or release.

Leroy Sanchez; People Help The People
Via: amyarmitage1 on You Tube

I have lost too many people to suicide, I have nearly lost loved ones to Suicide, only to see other loved ones MOCK the person who tried it. Saying “How dare they” and other pathetic sayings. I say “IF YOU REALLY CARE FOR SOMEONE, THEN GO HELP THEM” Suicide comes at you with a smile, fun, funny people are suicidal. Think of anyone you know who has committed Suicide or tried, more times than not we think “WOW, I DID NOT EXPECT IT FROM THEM, THEY ARE STRONG” So I say it again, Suicide comes at you with a smile, in fun. The funniest people I know, the strongest people I know are the ones who are Suicidal, tried or dead. I see a World of people just too busy to see each other, too busy chasing the wrong emotions. Are they selfish? Hell no! How can they be if they don’t know, yet many of us do look at everyone and think “Are they Suicidal” Suicide rates have tripled in just a generation, does it matter if it is men or woman, young or old? No, life is life, it’s precious, love it and start noticing it. Or you WILL live in Regret for life. This message isn’t for me, it’s for the World, my World too. I am at one with who I am, what I do and why. I tire of trying to meet people in the middle, I tire of people chasing the wrong things. I am TRYING to chase life and happy, and I will do my best. It’s all ANY of us can do. If anyone reads this and feels ‘THIS IS AIMED AT ME’, then that emotion is yours, so do something about it, I BEG

DJXEai-XoAArgq8

I spent a LOT of time with Suicidal people, we talk, exchange ‘WHY’ and then we find solace in others. We find a way to talk about Suicide and thus giving it a voice and reason. We can’t as a species keep saying, thinking nor presuming “They want pity” or “They want Sympathy” No, we need to get our priorities in order and SEE THE TRUTH STARING AT US IN THE FACE. Regret is only regret when we allow it. I am Suicidal! Are you? Do you know anyone who is? If you know a Suicidal person, think of them, who they live with, how it impacts others the Suicidal person and those around them. Our World just looks and judges, it is now time to help, or we live LIFE in regret. Please start to help, please start to notice. The ability to talk Suicide is STRENGTH, and don’t let anyone tell you different. As always, thank you to another who helped me write this, and as always I end this blog with the same message

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Why Do Popular, Attractive, and Talented People Commit Suicide? – Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington

At the foot of this blog are more blogs about Suicide I used to cover when I blogged, this is not me starting to blog again, I needed help to write most of this. But it’s a subject that needs talked about. Remember everyone ‘Regret is only regret when we allow regret to be the ever-lasting emotion’. The reality of Suicide and the recent death of Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington is he was RICH, FAMOUS, FUNNY! Everything most people want to be, yet here he is SPEAKING ABOUT HIS MIND, something he did a lot. In the interview in the video at the foot of this page the TRIGGERS of suicide were there for all to see, yet here we are again asking “Could we have done more”, and this leads to the question “Why is this still so Taboo”? Never is there an intervention, always regret and that is so sad. One song from MANY done by Linking Park and sung by Chester was ‘Rolling in the Deep’ a cover song done by Adele, not a song you would ever expect Chester to take on, yet he did and he nailed it. I will share 4 videos here, 2 songs and 2 videos of Chester as the man we knew away from being rich, famous, liked, loved more

Rolling In The Deep Cover Chester Bennington
Via Numael Roldan on You Tube

Behind all the sadness we MUST see the fun side of people. Chester said in the video at the top “When I am alone with my mind “It is like I should not be there, and Music is my ONLY escape” And I say these exact words about Music to ANYONE who will listen to my ranting. Chester found his stage to OUT his demons, but sadly it wasn’t enough. So I leave you with the good memory of another person LEFT ALONE with people guessing before and after he killed himself. Celebrate the life, but ask “How can we get this Taboo gone and help people” I myself think “Suicide” from time to time as it’s part of my ongoing circumstances that WE ALL HAVE, but in me saying this, does it help? Answer, no! I would be called pathetic and weak and bad as I have kids and loved ones. But Chester was a fun lad, here is the proof

Chester Bennington – Unforgettable Funny Moments
Via Sarah_Lia on You Tube

~~~~

Below is what Linkin Park did, this is the type of songs they sung, they were amazing

In The End (Official Video) – Linkin Park
Via Linkin Park on You Tube

In this video from an interview in Feb ’17 shows Chester Bennington expressing his cries for help. Hindsight is 20/20. At the time the interviewer and fans alike joked at his comments. Looking back, it’s clearly not a joking matter. Mental illness is a very serious issue, that is not to be over looked. It can take all forms. People you know may be going through similar situations. So next time you have someone pour their heart out to you, really listen to what they are saying. It may be a cry for help….. This is not a promo for WakingUpDad or WakingUpDad.net …. I am simply posting this as a long time fan of Chester and the group Linkin Park. I am just as shocked as everyone else and searching for answers as to why. In the video he clearly is telling us. We just didn’t listen. RIP Chester Bennington. You will be missed. Prayers to his family, wife and kids.

Chester Bennington’s cry for HELP! Linkin Park
Via Waking Up Dad on You Tube

~~~~

2 minutes of your time to complete! It is Anti Bullying/Suicide Survey

As Ian Duncan Smith causes ATOS Suicides, MP’s spend Millions on Ipad’s and Laptops

How Benefit Sanctions Have Driven UK to Suicide

If You Do One Thing Today – Share this, You Will Be Saving A Life #SuicideHotlines

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Thousands die after being declared ‘fit for work’ – no wonder Tories didn’t want anyone to know

Reluctant: Iain Duncan Smith didn't want to release the figures

Reluctant: Iain Duncan Smith didn’t want to release the figures

As a severally disabled person myself living with the cloud of #Suicide because I think I am too much for my loved ones all I can do is try and stand up and live any life my body and mind will allow, also I am trying to #ChangeTheDisabledSign I find this news awful but sadly I am not surprised. I blogged for 2 years with the help of my partner and copy and paste like below to give news to this. The title and story below tell the story but I will leave blogs I did as far back as 2 or 3 years ago regarding the Tory party having £Billions of pounds for Trident and War, but not enough to look after people who need looked after, and also the family of those struggling to help the people they care for. Below are also #Suicide numbers for people who really need help as well as previous blogs I have done. Also I may add, I can be contacted via the Twitter and Skype at the foot of the page. I must thank the same person who sits here and types for me and helps me do these blogs also caring for me 24/7, giving me my Medication, 1 being a controlled drug, helping be shower in a seat, dress, cook for me, basically everything, many people depend on help and it must be given. I know I said I stopped but for this I can’t and won’t look away, no matter the cost. Sadly many videos I have shared have been deleted by someone. Also at the foot of each blog there are 3 more pointing at the same story. All this aside, CATCH THE THIEVES WHO STEAL DISABLED PEOPLE MONEY, WHOEVER THEY ARE!!

~~~~~

images

I agree with this, but our Government WE PAY FOR must do better

~~~~~

CHANGE THE DISABLED SIGN – FOR ALL DISABLED PEOPLE!!

As Ian Duncan Smith causes ATOS Suicides, MP’s spend Millions on Ipad’s and Laptops

How Benefit Sanctions Have Driven UK to Suicide

Politicians Greed Vs Benefit slashing Suicides – Wake up, vote them out! -Suicide Contact Numbers

Scottish – Disabled Bloggers – Give us peace! – We this sad Scotland?

Does being Disabled make you see others in a bad light?

UK Government decision to close fund helping disabled people live independently ruled lawful

Britain ‘blindly violating disabled people’s human rights’

For those who need help! Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – GOV.UK

~~~~~

Via: http://www.mirror.co.uk/

Mirror

Thanks to the Freedom of Information act, Iain Duncan Smith has been forced to release figures showing how many ­people declared fit for work by his department dropped dead.

More than 4,000 people died within six weeks of being found “fit for work”, the Department for Work and Pensions has admitted.

The figures cover the period between December 2011 to February 2014. All were told they should find a job following a “Work Capability Assessment”.

Of the total, 1,360 died after losing an appeal against the decision. Apparently 80 people a week are dying after being assessed as fit for work. Now we know why Mr Duncan Smith and the Government were so reluctant to release these figures.

It will shock nobody to hear the Iain Duncan Smith response to this shaming revelation is to adapt the famous line from the Bruce Willis film The Sixth Sense – “I don’t see dead people”.

"I see dead people": But Iain Duncan Smith doesn't, apparently

“I see dead people”: But Iain Duncan Smith doesn’t, apparently

So, in ­addition to throwing the disabled out of their adapted homes under the hated Bedroom Tax , wasting billions of public money on a complete turkey of a ­computer system for universal credit, we can now add hounding the sick to death to the charge sheet.

This was all supposedly to save the taxpayers money and weed out the shirkers and scammers. As for the people doing the work placement assessing, from what I know they are not given time or resources enough to carry out the ­assessments fairly.

They are paid per ­assessment, so they try to carry out as many as possible, making random conclusions based on interviews in which they don’t listen properly ­because they are too busy working out the route to the next ­assessment.

As of 22:48 0n the 3rd September 2016 - How Britain is dealing with this

As of 22:48 0n the 3rd September 2016 – How Britain is dealing with this

Of course, those disabled and sick have to appeal and the majority of them are successful. But then comes more expense as the appeals process costs money. Also the stress to people suffering multiple illnesses because they are ­basically being treated as con merchants can lead to serious deteriorations in their health.

I wonder how many of them had to be ­hospitalised and needed expensive ­aftercare.

How much money did we as taxpayers save with these callous tests – and was it enough to pay for the extra NHS care necessary?

One wonders what Mr Duncan Smith and his fellow travellers in cruelty will come up with next.

I have no inside track on this – but my fiver would be on something like “pay as you go“ wheelchairs, to save money and incentivise the paraplegic to walk. Watch this space and despair.

~~End Story…for now….~~

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How Benefit Sanctions Have Driven UK to Suicide

A poster against benefits sanctions in Salford.

By: Maya Oppenheim At: http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/benefit-sanctions-have-driven-people-to-suicide-110

This is a fairly long read but it drives home exactly what Ian Duncan Smith and his mates who all got raises last year have done to us all. If it didn’t effect you, please don’t look away and be selfish. Just because a person has money should they look away and not care? Scotland if we TRULY want the SNP to change the UK political system, give it a chance. We must FULLY understand why and not just vote because a few media images captured our imagination. Wake up to a story and truth that could very easily be you one day. YES YOU!! Also we must know why the Tory party should NEVER lead Scotland again, I stand with my English friends, they have a battle also and we will be there, English people are saying we can change the country, go to the bottom of this and you will see an English guy talk Scotland up in a link

~~~~Story~~~~

Last year, on the 23rd of June, Malcolm Burge set off from his home in London to travel to a funeral in the West Country. Four days later, he killed himself inside his car.

Burge’s cries for help came in the form of letters to his local council. “I’m now more stressed, depressed and suicidal than any of my previous letters,” he wrote. “I have no savings or assets. I’m not trying to live. I’m trying to survive.”

These letters were ignored by Newham council, who later admitted to sending letters in an “inappropriate tone” to Burge. Having spent his life as a gardener at City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, Burge started claiming benefits when he became a carer for his father later in life.

In January of 2013, his housing benefit was halved from £90 to £45. Newham council failed to inform him of the change and continued to pay him the full amount due to a backlog. In the end, the council issued a demand for their overpayment of £800.

Burge was unable to afford this on his basic subsistence income; in one letter to the council he wrote, “I can’t remember the last time I had £800 in my possession.” Regardless, he was sent ten letters demanding repayment, and money was deducted from his weekly benefits without permission. In turn, Burge became increasingly distressed, to the point where he felt he couldn’t cope any more.

This guy would steal the milk from your tea then come back for the sugar

This guy would steal the milk from your tea then come back for the sugar

The coroner, Michael Rose, was insistent that Burge had not attempted to avoid the debt. Instead, he said, “This is a tragic case. Mr Burge had obviously been caught up in the change of the government benefits system. He is a man who clearly needed help, but unfortunately Newham borough council were unable to give it to him.”

Burge is not the first person to take his own life after losing his benefits, and he’s unlikely to be the last. Last month the government’s Work and Pensions Select Committee announced that 40 people had committed suicide because of problems with welfare payments since 2012. Following the announcement, MPs called for an independent review into the deaths that surround benefit sanctions.

Most of these deaths pass us by, because individuals who’ve never made it to the media in life rarely do in death. As a result, the Burges of the world die alone, faceless and voiceless. It’s never possible to truly know why someone chose to take their life, but you can’t help but wonder whether Burge would have ended his had he not been pushed into a financial – and, subsequently, psychological – crisis.

Suicide remains taboo in public discourse. While we might speak more openly about our mental health than ever before, the “S” word continues to linger in the shadows. According to the Samaritans, “The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have.”

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Research has increasingly highlighted the link between poverty and suicide – people in a dire financial situation not wanting to live the life they have. A report by Samaritans, for instance, has shown that those in the poorest communities are ten times more likely to commit suicide than the affluent. What’s more, the Office for National Statisticsclaims that the recent recession has driven male suicide rates to their highest level since 2001.

“My advisor told me that I needed to learn a ‘work ethic’, and that if I didn’t attend an unpaid work programme I would be sanctioned again. Obviously I became extremely anxious. As soon as I got home I swallowed every pill I had in the house and tried to overdose. I wasn’t in a good place. I ended up in A&E having my stomach pumped. It was the worst day I’ve ever had.”

Like Burge, Sam Clement, 42, also reached the point of wanting to take his own life after his benefits were cut. Fortunately, he survived. “It might make no sense to you, but I was sanctioned for attending a self-employment training course with my housing association,” he explains. “Although my advisor told me this was fine, when I got back another advisor said it wasn’t an approved training course so she’d have to sanction me, and that was that. My money stopped coming through.”

Clement went into the Job Centre every day to find out what was going on. It took a month and a half for them to tell him he would be sanctioned for a month in December of 2013, meaning all money was cut off. “The situation rapidly deteriorated. I only had five pounds, so I very quickly ran out of food,” he recalls. “And after two or three days of not eating, I got diarrhoea, but by that time I’d run out of toilet roll. I was too stressed and hungry to sleep, and if I did sleep I made a mess.”

Unable to afford electricity or heating, Clement’s Christmas was cold and dark. “I remember sitting in the living room on Christmas day, watching families walking around happily out the window, while I sat hoping for darkness to come so I could go to bed,” he says.

Like most of us, Clement didn’t know what a benefit sanction actually was until he was on the receiving end of one. “I had no idea they could just take your money away like that,” he says. “It shocked me how quickly I fell to pieces. The whole thing destroyed my mental health.”

When his sanction period finally came to an end, Clement returned to the Job Centre. “When I arrived back, my advisor told me that I needed to learn a ‘work ethic’, and that if I didn’t attend an unpaid work programme I would be sanctioned again. Obviously I became extremely anxious.” He pauses as his voice catches in his throat. “As soon as I got home I swallowed every pill I had in the house and tried to overdose. I wasn’t in a good place. I ended up in A&E having my stomach pumped. It was the worst day I’ve ever had.”

After a turbulent seven months of waiting, the doctor finally put Clement in touch with a therapist. Since then he has undergone individual and group therapy, as well as CBT. Nevertheless, the repercussions of his sanction continue to haunt him.

“Before the sanction, my mental health was fine. I certainly wouldn’t have called myself anxious,” he says. “But I am now. I haven’t wanted to leave my flat in 15 months. Home is my safety blanket. I can be perfectly OK inside, but if I walk to the Job Centre my hands start shaking. In the back of my head, my mind is screaming at me to go home.”

Since his sanction, Clement has developed insomnia, as well as a whole raft of stress-induced health problems. “My legs have swollen due to psoriasis and I’ve put on three stone. It’s all down to the anxiety. You can’t plan for a sanction, and it’s always at the back of my mind,” he says.

The word “sanction” may have once been one we reserved for the West’s scolding of Russia, but it now holds resonance far closer to home. Since the coalition introduced a tighter policy on sanctions in October of 2012, increasing the maximum time you could lose your benefits to three years, the number of sanctions has skyrocketed. According to Unite, 2 million people have had their benefits stopped in the last two years. Moreover, 2014 saw the largest number of sanctions in history.

Like Clement, people often lose their benefits for the most arbitrary of reasons. Examples range from selling Remembrance Day poppies to not searching for jobs on Christmas Day, or being two minutes late for signing on. Even having a heart attack. (There’s a Tumblr page dedicated to highlighting absurd sanctioning reasons in case you want to continue revelling in the absurdity of it all.) The causes may differ, but all of these sanctions are removing a basic subsistence income from people who have no other way to survive.

It’s also worth noting that people with mental health problems are far more likely to have their benefits sanctioned. According to research from the mental health charity Mind, six out of ten disabled people who are sanctioned have a mental health condition or learning difficulty. In 2009, claimants with mental health problems only constituted 35 percent of those sanctioned. In 2013, that number grew to a staggering 58 percent.

Tom Pollard, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Mind, says: “We’re very concerned about the impact changes to benefits are having on people with mental health problems, including the number of people having their benefits stopped.” Sanctions cause not just financial problems but “added emotional distress”, he says. Mind has been getting an increasing number of calls from people experiencing suicidal thoughts, and while the causes of suicide are myriad and complex, we know that the reforms being made to benefits are a contributory factor for many people.”

In April of 2014, Mind received 169 phone calls from people who were experiencing suicidal thoughts. By December, this number had increased to 246 calls.

“Stopping benefits does not help people with mental health problems back into work,” stresses Pollard. “In fact, it often results in people becoming more anxious and unwell, and this makes a return to work less likely. Sanctions are based on a false assumption that individuals lack motivation and willingness to work, but it’s the impact of their illness and the environment [in which] they are expected to work which actually present the toughest challenges.”

In spite of this, blanket sanctions are applied regardless of an individual’s state of mind. In turn, benefit sanctions are tipping deeply vulnerable individuals – in need of support, not punishment – over the edge.

In May of 2013, a landmark court decision ruled that Work Capability Assessments were not fit for purpose and significantly disadvantaged those with mental health conditions. The scheme, however, has carried on regardless.

While it may be a given that economic hardship impacts one’s mental health, the isolation, shame, insecurity and powerlessness that have long been endemic to poverty have been further exacerbated by the coalition’s brutal sanctions regime. The ever-looming threat of having the rug pulled from beneath your feet leads to a perpetual cycle of fear and uncertainty – you’re only ever one envelope away from destitution.

Depression is multicausal. It transcends and eclipses affluence, class, occupation and talent. But it’s imperative that we, as a nation, recognise the very clear link between austerity and poor mental health. It goes the other way, too – those with mental health problems are at a greater risk of economic hardship, and figures show that people with mental health problems are more likely to be unemployed, be in low-income jobs, in debt or rent arrears and retire early.

Just like sanctions, the government’s controversial Work Capability Assessments are also pushing claimants into crisis mode. In early 2011, the Coalition reassessed 2.5 million people with physical and mental illnesses for their incapacity benefits. In turn,hundreds of thousands of highly vulnerable, mentally unwell claimants were judged fit for work and no longer entitled to government support. In four out of ten cases, the original decision was overturned, proving that they had been mistakenly judged fit for work in the first place.

Work Capability Assessments are run via a rigid, computer-based points system and semi-structured interviews. Both have been widely criticised for their faceless, one-size-fits-all approach. In May of 2013, a landmark court decision ruled that Work Capability Assessments were not fit for purpose and significantly disadvantaged those with mental health conditions. The scheme, however, has carried on regardless.

Together, Work Capability Assessments and benefit sanctions are pushing the most vulnerable and helpless into psychological turmoil. In an open letter to The Guardian, 442 psychotherapists, counsellors and academics condemned austerity’s impact on the nation’s mental health. In the letter, they argued that the “intimidatory disciplinary regime” facing benefit claimants would be further exacerbated by the Conservative’s latest budget plans.

After all, the Conservative Manifesto clearly states that people “who might benefit from treatment should get the medical help they need so they can return to work. If they refuse a recommended treatment, we will review whether their benefits should be reduced.” In other words, people with mental health problems will face sanctions, hardship and misery if they turn down treatment they are not ready for.

The Conservatives are proposing on-screen, electronic cognitive behaviour therapy treatment for 40,000 claimants. The problem here is that mechanical, automated treatments are likely to overlook an individual’s highly subjective and private psychological needs. It begs the question: can therapy be defined as such when it doesn’t require consent and is enforced via the ever-present threat of sanctions? Hundreds of psychologists have argued no, labelling this so-called “therapy” as “damaging” and “professionally unethical” in their open letter.

Maybe we’re coming to the end of all this. Maybe next week will mark the end of a period of some of the greatest cuts to the vulnerable this country has seen in a very long time. But real lives have been lost because people could not see a future beyond the mess of their welfare payments. We must grieve for those lives, because while such fatalities are the starkest example of the psychological fall-out of austerity, so many more are suffering day-in, day-out.

For now…

…Shaun

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