Very soon we will have a new prime minister, and probably another round of DWP-related deaths. I have started up a radical mental health art-action programme called Section 136, where madness is questioned, and institutional monsters are confronted using art, love, rage and sheep. I have started the ball rolling by sending our next prime minister this letter.
I expect no reply. I expect more hearts to stop. My section 136 art project will rage against the stopping of the hearts, and I will show writing letters to MPS or PMs does nothing. Here is the letter:
Dear Future Prime Minister,
We would like to know if you will be continuing your predecessor’s work in maintaining a hostile environment for disabled people and continuing with DWP policies that have sent people to their early graves or have driven them to suicide.
If you need reminding, here are some facts and figures (based on UN Reports):
- 62% of people that the DWP sanctions live with mental health issues.
- In 2012, 10,600 people died after their benefit claims ended.
- 90 people a month are dying after the DWP declares them ‘fit-for-work’.
- 590 people have taken their own life due, in part, to DWP fit-for-work tests.
It would be great if you could ensure:
- The ending of assessments that are not fit for purpose, which have done things like find people with terminal cancer, people who cannot feed themselves, and people in hospital, fit for work. These unfair, punitive, devastating assessments have also driven people to suicide.
- Acknowledgment that DWP is damaging to people’s mental health.
- That the DWP makes radical changes to its policies and administration of social security benefits to make the safety of all claimants a priority.
If you do not wish to do this, could you kindly please sign below to show your willingness to sign off people’s lives and stop their hearts.
I, the undersigned, am happy to sign people’s lives off and stop their hearts
Sincerely yours, Dolly Sen, an artist who does not want to see more disabled people dead.
To learn more about Section 136, go to www.section136.co.uk