27 February 2017
Professor Peter Kinderman, President of the British Psychological Society, has issued this statement.
Following the arguments made by George Freeman MP, senior adviser to the prime minister, that disability benefits should only go to “really disabled people” and not those “taking pills at home … from anxiety”, Professor Peter Kinderman, President of the BPS said:
"Whilst we note that Mr Freeman has spoken about his own experiences of anxiety as a youngster and has apologised for the language he used, it is vitally important that anybody serving in such an influential position as his bears in mind, at all times, that the purpose of our benefits system is to allow people the means to address their very real needs and achieve personal independence and the possibility of a fulfilling and meaningful life.
"It would be disgraceful were Conservative politicians genuinely to believe that the very real needs of people living with serious mental health problems can be dismissed in such offhand terms.
"Whatever your political views, compassion, and a commitment to put right, not dismiss, the burning injustices in our society, should guide our actions and our words."