News- Mental health job support scheme piloted


Another government idea and it’s to do with Mental Health!!DOTD Fes1

Let’s get those earning (employment support allowance) ESA back into work!

SarcasmOk, at the moment this is just apparently in it’s “Idea,” Stages, but as someone earning ESA for mental health issues. I’m really questioning if the people who have come up with this have really thought it through.

For those who don’t know or need this explaining, here in the UK there are two main benefits for the unemployed.

Jobseekers Allowance – those who are, “Supposedly,” active and looking for work- although many people will argue they aren’t looking for work, these people get about £50 a week but lots of them have to follow rules such as show evidence they are looking for work. The trick is though, the evidence needed is just writing some nonsense on a piece of paper and showing it to an advisor every 2 weeks when you go for your money (or that was the trick in my local job centre when I went)


ESA- these people are classed as, “Too sick,” to work, it can be for physical or mental illness but you do need a doctor to agree that you are too sick, you get a sick note and the government do a lot of blah de blah sorting stuff.


One thing I find annoying is this idea is taking some people who it is said can’t work and putting them in an environment they might not be ready for but ignoring these people who are signing up for Jobseekers and supposedly want to work.

The main mental illnesses the government want to target are Anxiety and Depression….

I’d love to see the overall plan for this because I’m sure someone in the government has this idea in their head that, people with mental illness just need one therapy session then they’ll be completely mentally healthy

Benidict CWake up call! 

It doesn’t work like that.

It can take years for therapy to work. Even if you have “Caught the illness in an early stage.” (anyone else think that makes it sound like cancer?) it doesn’t mean throwing them into work is the right decision.


Reality, it took me 3 years of therapy to realise I wasn’t healthy enough to work.

The idea of talking therapies is to get the patient to realise what is best for them, not what is best for the government’s spending.

Rushing people into talking therapies doesn’t work either.

-If people aren’t ready to talk, that may end up being therapy wasted,

in this case

Will the government punish the person (take the money off of them) if they don’t comply with the therapy?

-If the therapy time is too short, this could leave a person worse- think of it you’ve just brought up memories you’ve hidden for a long time or just had the confidence to talk about them then that, “Support” Which was there and you could talk to is gone, then you are expected to go into a stress of a job.


ForkSure, there are times where I think, “Oh I could work,” However, I’m sure many mental health patients will agree with this, what you think one day can be completely different to what you think the next. Because I know that thought of, “I could work.” Is just a one day thing- also a manic thing because me saying I can work is often referring to impossible jobs such as being Wonder Woman.

My conditions would mean me keeping a job would be hard as I’ll be swinging off the roof and being reckless one moment and if they don’t fire me around that point there is a chance I’d be on the roof threatening to jump the next.


As they are targeting anxiety-


Imagine waking up, you need to go to work, your gut feels like it’s twisted and the thought that something bad is going to happen won’t leave your head.

AnxietyThe idea of Fight or flight  is running through you, you want to run and hide from the world but at the same time you feel as if you are in a battle waiting for someone to pounce out and attack you. Although a therapist has told you nothing will happen to you, you still have the urge to cower under the duvet, while your body is waiting for an attack.

Somehow you do manage to get up and dressed- although you may not look your best as you were rushed to get dressed- the idea something bad will happen soon turns into the thought that everyone is looking at you and laughing at you. Throughout the day you are constantly plagued by paranoid thoughts, you avoid everyone (which is a problem in most jobs)

This continues, even worsens throughout the day. This is just one of the many things a person with anxiety could feel.


I don’t think the government see that most of these people with Mental Illness on ESA might be on it for a reason.

Depression isn’t just the person is feeling sad

Anxiety isn’t just that the person is feeling scared.

If some people want to go back to work, I say go for it, but I think if the government want to see about saving money they should look into the people who can work first. Dalek emotional

With ESA (especially with this idea) there are two groups people can be placed into. One of the groups I was actually terrified I’d be placed into, the “Work-Related group,” Involves regular interviews which if you don’t turn up to they can defer your benefit  and you can only be in this group for a year before you go into work or back on job seekers.

My anxiety levels actually dropped when I found I had been put into the, “Support group.” where you don’t have to go to those interviews.

This new idea apparently people will have to go through an interview.

Dear person who came up with this idea. Telling someone with anxiety that they have to go for an interview, which could effect their life, really not a good idea. Signed anxiety patient.


With this idea, I’m not sure if the government realise how much money they will need to put into therapy, apparently there are 260,000 people on ESA for mental health issues. Now, add the wage of a therapist, the amount of time they will need to put in, there may also be the need for a support scheme, someone the person could contact for support if they feel like they are having issues looking for work or in work, there are lots of things to factor in.DP Madness

I’m sort of hoping this idea doesn’t become official as, I know loads of people who will be effected by it. I’m all for equality with mental health but at their own timings.


Wanting to Study an Art Degree?

Deciding to study art at university? Or have you already started?

What should you consider when deciding?



All the universities try and sell themselves on employment rates, student experience and how many are graduating with Firsts or 2:1’s.


One thing you need to accept when going to study art is that you really need to ignore the employment rate part. If a university says 95% of it’s students leave uni with a job, the unemployed 5% may possibly be those studying an art subject. So, accept there is a large possibility you will leave university without a job if you want to study art

It’s frustrating I know, but the UK is still in an unemployment crisis, so no matter what you study there is still a chance you’d leave without a job. Most artists go into a freelance area. But the trick is to keep looking out for your dream job and in the mean time keep practicing.

Student Experience? 

You don’t want to go to a university where students are encouraged to work, eat and sleep.  But although it may destroy some expectations, you don’t want to go to a university where you are out partying till 4 am every night for the whole year.

For course experience, you want the course, which is going to offer you the best experience.

Go out and ask art students themselves-

Truthfully, it’s ok universities announcing they are top whatever of student experience (Me and Vanessa went to York St John University, so we know all about this tagline, as they got voted 9th in student experience) But as an Artist you need to look deeper into what will be best for you.

You shouldn’t just go on the course because it as voted on some league table.

University Art Shows.

Second years and Third Years often put on shows, this is your chance to go and look at what art they are producing and also ask what their experience is/was like. They won’t be paid to give you some, “Perfect,” Sounding answer and no one is quoting numbers or picking out the best line of what they have said.


Going along to these shows will shows will show you what type of art the course studies (especially in the Degree show). If the degree show is exhibiting mostly sculpture, then I would guess the course focuses on sculpture, same with courses such as theatre.

Look out for common relations in the shows, if some subject area or medium comes up a lot. If the exhibition is advertised as a sculpture/performance art or romance/horror show, then obviously look further into the course.

UCAS will have loads of universities that will have courses in art, each will be different. Just because, “Fine Art,” Comes up a lot doesn’t mean every university teaches the same course

Pinkie Pie


These are going to be working with you for three years. Now along with asking students, about them you need to do research. Ask the tutors themselves at interviews or open days, if that fails there is always my favorite answer- Google. I’m not saying look at their lives history. As an artist you need to find a tutor who will at least be able to give you some tips on your artwork, to help it grow- as most tutors will be practicing artists themselves. If you like Performance Art but are going to a university where the tutors are associated with drawing/painting. There may be some difficulties. The last thing you need is to feel like you are lagging behind because your interest lies in a different area.

The Course

You do need to consider, there will be at least one module you probably won’t like, Unless, you do find the perfect course

Invader Zim Amazing


 The course isn’t moulded to what you want it to be. 

You can’t go into a course expecting it all to be drawing, because that’s all you want to do. Really, it was annoying when a woman at the degree show openly turned up her nose at the art course at York St John University because it isn’t 100% what she wanted. University is a learning environment, so, do be prepared to learn things, you might not like it but there are others in the class who will love it and they are paying for the same course too.

Some courses will change every year so it might be worth while asking what the course entails- Different modules will require different themed results. It’s ok to hear about one module and feel you won’t like it but tutors and the other students you are with will help you though it to get a decent result and you never know you might find another area you love.


Again, this isn’t something they can put on paper. They can list what they have- spacious studio’s, lots of digital stuff and a woodwork shop. Sometimes getting a look around the studios isn’t possible so, it might be worth going to multiple open days or asking if you get an interview to look around.



These are just a few things that will make up your student experience; it’s these things you probably should look into to decide if you and your practice will fit into the university and if you will enjoy it. University, isn’t just partying, the part you are now paying over £9000 a year for is the course. So, check that the course and the university meet your needs. Most cases they will want you to go to your university, so they won’t mind you asking questions. It’s these sorts of things along with enthusiasm and motivation that will help you get a good grade.