To improve mental health, politicians must start with the benefits system : The Guardian

SUBSTRATUMS

Depression and anxiety haunt the people who use our food bank. We need a safety net to support people in poverty, not penalise them.

Two-thirds of British adults have experienced mental health problems at some point in their lives, according to the Mental Health Foundation. For people forced to use a food bank like ours, the figures are even higher.

It’s no wonder. The NHS says depression can be caused by “an upsetting or stressful life event, such as bereavement, divorce, illness, redundancy and job or money worries”. People who use food banks face many of these – often at the same time.

A blister from new work boots leads to an ulcer; you’re struggling to walk round the building site and the foreman lays you off with no warning and no sick pay. It takes weeks to access sickness benefits. Your marriage breaks down and you’re suddenly…

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