I was given a Freedom Pass which changed my life
As someone who suffers from a severe mental health problem it enables me to go out and about when I am able to and this helps to keep me active and well.
Recently it was renewed until 2020
and then came the letter
I received a letter asking me to prove either that either I had Epilepsy or that I received the higher rate of disability living allowance or if I couldn't I would have to go to a mobility assessment.
How many forms have I filled in?
Have I ever claimed to have epilepsy?
Then I discovered I was not alone. All the people I know with mental health problems were receiving the same letters
I decided to call the number on the letter and when I did I was told that all I needed to do was to send them an email back saying I had a mental health problem and if I was known to the psychiatric unit then they would allow me to keep my pass
I did this and after 2 weeks finally got told I could keep it.
I felt relief.
For those weeks I had felt increased anxiety and distress even fear
None of those things has been helpful to my mental health
I have had a bad headache and felt sick for that time
I have felt extreme fear in the mornings when I wake up
Did no one think about the consequences of sending out such a letter?
Did no one check our diagnosis before they were sent?
I was one of the lucky ones
Others I know have been humiliated at the mobility assessments because they can't prove that they have mobility issues.
But mental health is not about mobility
Why is this happening?
How can it be stopped?
People with mental health problems deserved their dignity and I for one will not let it rest
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