Voices of Experience (VOX) have just published their latest report, ‘Real People Deeper Cuts’, which highlights the experiences of people with lived experience of mental health issues and the effects of spending cuts on their lives.
Three quarters of Scots with long-running mental health problems say their recovery has been negatively impacted by public spending cuts. The new bombshell report lays out in detail the toxic effect years of service loss and stress are having on those suffering mental health issues. In particular, people spoke out about how vital services have been degraded and lost.
- 40% of people over the last 3 years had experienced a reduction in staffing levels at services due to the spending cuts.
- Over 17% of people had completely lost a mental health service, group or activity that they accessed in the past. This also resulted for those who could use transport in having to travel much further to reach other services.
- Over 71% of people received services from Voluntary organisations with only 28% accessing services from Local Authorities and the NHS combined.
- Almost half 50% of all respondents had seen a reduction in access to social/cultural and leisure services due to closures, reduction in opening times and or need to travel further to access them. And over 26% of people did not access any Social/cultural or leisure services at all.
- A negative or strong negative impact on people’s mental health and recovery was felt by over 76% of people as a direct result of changes to services due to spending reviews. And over 82% felt a negative or strong impact on their social networks.
- Over 31.5% of respondents had also experienced a decrease in their benefits such as ESA, JSA, DLA or benefits paid through local authority such as Housing benefit or council tax.
- 31% of people had experienced an increase to their conditions of benefit entitlement such as being required to attend meetings, courses on regular bases in order to continue to receive their benefit, which has impacted negatively on their mental health condition.
You can read the whole report here: