Doctor suicide is the medical profession’s grubby secret – but it’s unclear why some of those dedicated to preserving life silently plot their own deaths
Mental Health, Depression, Suicide, Anxiety
Imagine waking up in the morning with paralyzing anxiety in the pit of your stomach. It seemingly has no source — after all, school’s going OK and your family is fine. But as this sense of dread floods your body, you frantically identify a million and one reasons why nothing is right. You know you have to get up, shower and finish that take-home quiz before class, but your heavy limbs and panicked mind won’t allow you to even roll out of bed. You’re stuck.
Researchers find the government’s work capability assessment programme is having a big impact. But not a positive one.
This just shows the consequences of how social care decisions can relate to the real lives of the persons they are dealing with. In these situations social services or anyother equivalent body should not only listen to what is being relayed to them, but also understand the situations and then take the appropriate actions.
In this situation it is not clear if they were even listening, but there was no understanding and certainly no appropriate actions.
Will ‘ lessons be learnt’, I do not feel they will.
My Dear Friends,
Domestic abuse, most often brushed under the carpet, locked behind the doors of the home, never spoken about, hidden behind shaking smiles in the hope that one day it will be ok and everything will go back to the time before the abuse started to happen!….
Unfortunately, in most cases, the abuse never stops, in most cases the abuse escalates to even higher levels, often the abuse moves over from one family member to others and sometimes even continues across generations, when the abused become the abuser !
Today, I pray for all the victims of abuse. Abuse can come in many forms, physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse, confinement abuse etc.
No one, No one deserves to be abused!
No one should be treated without respect!
No one should have to live in fear!
No one……No one.
If you are in a situation of abuse, then…
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This is one to share, thank you for posting
I was surfing a bit today, trying to read all the new posts and realizing I had accidentally followed a whole lot of posts that I didn’t mean to follow, just read. So, I am cleaning up, trying to figure out why this is “perfect” and I hit a site and read a post that leaves me…cold and angry. Here’s the post, but I will go ahead and talk about it and the problem.
—> Post is Here <—
Teaching school is rough today, but what makes it especially rough is if you manage to keep your feelings of compassion and have to deal with the thugs, bullies, and other people (often, including parents and other teachers) who are either part of the problem or who ignore it.
Amanda Todd’s story, unfortunately, is not abnormal today. We live in a society in which many people, both young and old, feel…
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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has ignored a deadline imposed by the information watchdog, as part of its investigation into DWP’s refusal to publish secret reviews into 49 benefit-related deaths.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launched the investigation in March, following DWP’s failure to provide information about the 49 reviews requested by Disability News Service (DNS).
But the ICO has now contacted DNS to say that it has made no progress with its investigation because DWP missed its deadline for submitting evidence.
The watchdog warned that DWP could eventually face a charge of contempt of court if it refused to co-operate with the investigation.
In “extreme” cases, ICO can issue a decision notice on a case without waiting for a public body – such as DWP – to respond.
A series of DNS freedom of information requests has revealed how DWP has carried out 49 secret reviews into benefit-related deaths since February 2012.
Of the 49 “peer reviews”, 33 contained recommendations for improvements in procedures at either national or local level within DWP, while 40 were carried out following the suicide or apparent suicide of a benefit claimant.
But despite freedom of information requests from DNS, and others, DWP has refused to publish the reviews, or their summaries, recommendations or conclusions, even with personal details of benefit claimants removed.
DWP claims that releasing the reviews – even with these details removed – could breach the Freedom of Information Act, because section 123 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 makes it an offence for anyone employed in social security administration to “disclose without lawful authority any information which he acquired in the course of that employment and which relates to a particular person”.
ICO is investigating a complaint lodged by DNS into DWP’s failure to release the information.
DWP refused to comment on its failure to meet ICO’s deadline.
Meanwhile, more than 200,000 people have signed a petition calling on the government to publish hugely controversial figures that will update the number of people who died after having their out-of-work disability benefits stopped.
Activists have been calling on DWP to publish the statistics since November 2012.
The ICO ordered DWP to release the figures – after an appeal by Mike Sivier, a freelance journalist and carer who runs the Vox Political blog – but the department is appealing that decision.
The petition calls on the Courts and Tribunal Service to dismiss DWP’s appeal and so prevent any further delay in publishing the figures.
Jonathan Bartley, the Green party’s work and pensions spokesman, called on work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith to “end this cover up”.
He said: “The public need to know exactly how many have died after being certified ‘fit for work’ as part of his reforms.
“The government’s reluctance to tell the truth suggests it has something serious to hide.
“With austerity now in overdrive and a race to the bottom on welfare underway, the full picture is more important than ever.”
News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com
- Olive Cooke, 92, killed herself after being inundated with pleas for money
- Had 27 direct debits to charities and received 260 begging letters a month
- Daily Mail investigation has discovered Mrs Cooke’s name was on a list of donors maintained by shadowy data firms and sold on to charities
- All charities contacted they had adhered to the highest ethical standards
Charities last night admitted sending begging letters to a grandmother who killed herself because she was overwhelmed by demands for money.
Amnesty International, Save the Children and the Alzheimer’s Society insisted their actions were not to blame for Olive Cooke’s death. But her family accused the charities of exploiting the poppy seller’s kind heart. And David Cameron called for watchdogs to probe the barrage of letters sent to the 92-year-old.
‘Olive Cooke was an incredible woman who worked tirelessly for the charities she supported,’ said the Prime Minister. ‘There is a code that is meant to protect people from feeling pressured by charities and I hope the Fundraising Standards Board will look at whether any more could have been done to prevent this.’
Mrs Cooke, who had direct debits to 27 charities, threw herself to her death in the Avon Gorge in Bristol last week after telling friends and family she ‘couldn’t give any more’. The Mail has discovered her name was on a list of donors maintained by shadowy data firms and sold on to charities. This led to her being swamped by phone calls and receiving up to 260 begging letters a month. As MPs and campaigners demanded action to protect the vulnerable, the Mail investigation reveals how:
- Big charities bought access to Mrs Cooke’s personal data;
- The personal details of millions of charity supporters are being traded for just 15p;
- Action on Hearing Loss and the Blue Cross animal charity are among those passing donors’ details to data firms;
- One data firm proudly claims to sell the names of 45million charity supporters a year.
A string of household names – including Amnesty, the Alzheimer’s Society, Save the Children, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Prostate Cancer UK and Breast Cancer Care – were yesterday revealed to be among those that sent Mrs Cooke letters before her suicide.
All the charities said they had adhered to the highest ethical standards. But a week after Mrs Cooke’s death, and in a grim reminder of her tormentors’ persistence, begging letters were still being delivered to her home in Fishponds, Bristol.
The latest batch included one from the Christian relief charity Tearfund and another from the rights group Womankind.
Politicians and campaigners said last night it was appalling that the frail great-grandmother had felt under siege.
‘The fact charities like these are selling these people’s details for profit is grubby and absolutely appalling,’ said Tory MP Sarah Wollaston. ‘The Information Commissioner needs to step in and stop this.
‘When you give to a charity it is reasonable to expect that information isn’t being sold on. They have a duty to look after those who are donating.’
Another Conservative MP, Andrew Percy, said: ‘It’s shocking that people’s goodwill is being harvested in such a clinical and
corporate manner – particularly when they are often vulnerable and elderly.’ Mrs Cooke’s grandson believes her name was traded by charities because she was so generous.
‘I heard rumours they were passing her number around, saying “This person is really generous, give this number a try”,’ said Kevin King, 38, from Redland, Bristol.
‘I’m not sure of the number of calls but it was one or two a day at least. When people phoned up and asked over the phone she ended up feeling guilty.
‘She would give them everything that she had. They were pestering her too much. It was like they were trying to milk her.’
Mrs Cooke was forced to cut her number of direct debits and those close to her say she threw herself to her death because she felt she ‘couldn’t give any more’.
Relatives say she had suffered from depression and lack of sleep and the constant phone calls and letters made her health worse.
Her friend Michael Earley, 72, joined calls for greater protection from begging charity letters. He said: ‘She was hooked, she couldn’t get out of it. If they thought you were a soft target they wouldn’t let you go. Olive was a soft target.’
The data broker Response One admitted to the Mail that it had bought a list that included Mrs Cooke’s name from a data holding firm. The list was used in a marketing campaign for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home – which is why Mrs Cooke had letters from the charity.
But, incredibly, Response One refused to name the data holder because of a non-disclosure agreement.
Earlier this year Mail reporters posed as cold-calling firm workers to discover that they could buy sensitive details of the pensions and medical conditions of millions of people, for as little as 5p each.
But the details of charity donors – the majority of whom are elderly – are a particularly valuable commodity because they are seen as a ‘soft touch’, the Mail has learned.
WHISTLEBLOWER: I WAS FORCED TO HARANGUE OAPS
A call centre worker paid to ‘harangue’ the elderly to make charity donations revealed yesterday how she was forced to quit because the practices were so ‘awful’.
Lucy Draper worked for a call centre that was subcontracted by several charities to get donations.
She said: ‘Every week it would change and we would call on behalf of a different charity.
‘I quit after two or three weeks because of the practices of where I was working and the fact they actively encouraged us to harangue people and hound them and not take no for an answer and you had certain targets to meet and if you didn’t meet those targets you’d lose your job.’
Miss Draper, who didn’t want to name her previous employer, told Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 that the final straw came when she was calling on behalf of a blindness charity. She said: ‘The lady I was speaking to said that her son was actually registered as deaf so she gave all her finances to the deaf charities and I said “Oh that’s fine, I’m really sorry for bothering you, I hope everything goes well”, and my supervisor came over to me and said “Why did you just let that call go? You should have kept going, you should have kept pressing her, kept pressing her”.
‘I didn’t feel comfortable with it so I left that day.’
Miss Draper, who lives in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, added: ‘In those call centres it was awful the things I heard people say. People really putting pressure on.
‘I didn’t know who they were talking to but it could have been anyone, it could have been someone like Olive.
‘I thought it was disgusting the way they had absolutely no compassion and the pressure the people working there were being put under.’
A spokesman for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home said: ‘We are deeply sorry to hear about the death of Olive Cooke and our thoughts go out to her family and friends. Mrs Cooke wasn’t a supporter of our charity and had never given to us, either by direct debit or as a one-off donation. We’ve never contacted Mrs Cooke by phone and our only contact was by mail, asking her to give, to which we received no response.’
A spokesman for the Alzheimer’s Society said: ‘We have undertaken a full investigation of all of our databases and can find no record of Olive Cooke. It’s likely that the mailing Mrs Cooke received came from a third party list of potential donors for a one-off campaign which was then subsequently deleted. Our representatives did not call Mrs Cooke on our behalf at any point.’
Kate Allen of Amnesty said: ‘I am deeply saddened by the news of Olive’s tragic death – our thoughts go out to her family at this time.
‘We are taking this issue very seriously and are looking into the details. Olive was a long-standing and valued supporter of Amnesty. Our team last telephoned Olive in April.
‘During that call, even though Olive did not say so explicitly, we sensed she would prefer not to be called again. We then amended our details immediately. This was the last and only call we made.’
Save The Children did not respond to requests for comment.
Mrs Cooke, whose husband died fighting in the Second World War, has sold an estimated 30,000 poppies over 76 years and Mr Cameron gave her an award last November for being Britain’s longest serving poppy seller. Police recovered her body from the Avon Gorge on May 6. An inquest into her death is expected to be opened next week.
HOW THEY PREY ON THE KIND-HEARTED
MILLIONS of older people are having their personal details collected and sold by firms who market them as premium targets for charity cold-callers.
The companies claim to offer contact information for those most ‘responsive’ to cold calls, stating online that those on their data lists are ‘generous’, ‘charity-minded’ and have a ‘prime credit rating’.
One firm boasts that it ‘trades over 45million charity names a year’ – while another sells information of donors to armed forces charities for 15p per person.
Individuals are even sorted into categories which show whether they are ‘interested in religion, environment, lotteries, concerts, collectables, reading, wildlife, pets’ or ‘visiting stately homes’.
Some charities not only buy such data for marketing purposes, but actually pass on the details of their own donors in ‘reciprocal deals’. They share data with marketing firms, who then offer names for sale to companies looking to sell products to the elderly.
These charity donors – some of whom are in their nineties – are then bombarded with phone calls and letters demanding cash from both companies and charities they have never shown any interest in.
Some charities have passed on huge databases of personal details to a private firm called Alchemy Direct Media (UK) Ltd. A previous Mail investigation revealed that this company also sells on details of NHS patients.
Now it has emerged that Alchemy – having obtained data from charities – is boasting it can offer the records of hundreds of thousands of charity donors ‘aged 50-100’ who will be ‘highly responsive’ to marketing calls.
ANOTHER FRAIL WAR WIDOW HOUNDED
A war widow with dementia has been hounded by charities begging the 87-year-old to donate her pension money.
Her family say they face a daily battle to stop charities trying to ‘manipulate’ her into giving cash.
Churchgoer Beryl, who lives alone, is flooded with appeal letters and calls. She is even sent gifts, such as a rosary instructing her to pray and donate.
At its worst, there have been more than 50 letters from charities covering the floor beneath Beryl’s letter box.
Last night daughter Fran said: ‘I am incensed about this. It drives me nuts and they are getting away with it. She only has her war widow’s pension and her state pension.
‘She receives a massive amount of post from charities asking for donations. I put them in a drawer, then it overflowed in the drawer, so I put it in a big carrier bag.
‘Dozens and dozens and dozens – all the names you would expect.
‘Marie Curie, British Red Cross, Age UK, it’s all of them. They’re picking on a generation of elderly, lonely people with memory loss.’
Beryl, of Solihull, West Midlands, has an ex-directory phone number and is on the Telephone Preference Service, to bar unwanted calls. But the charities still continue to get in touch.
‘I realised what was happening when I intercepted a call,’ Fran, 61, said. The caller told her that Beryl may have given her phone number when entering a charity raffle.
One letter from Mother Teresa Children’s Foundation came with a rosary asking that it is used ‘to pray for hungry children’. It added: ‘Please also send your best gift to help feed, clothe and shelter them.’
Fran said: ‘My mum is protected. I worry about other elderly people who don’t have anyone.’
British Red Cross denied selling on details but said that ‘on occasion’ charities share contacts for ‘mutual benefit’. Age UK said it buys charity-givers’ details from data firms but added: ‘We ensure that all legal and data guidelines are adhered to.’
Marie Curie and Mother Teresa Children’s Foundation did not comment.
By Paul Bentley and Emily Kent-Smith
The company sells contact information for those who have given to charities including the Blue Cross animal charity, Royal Voluntary Service and the Animal Rescue Fund. Many of these organisations’ donors will have no idea that their most personal details are being traded.
Names and addresses of 57,106 donors to Action on Hearing Loss – formerly the Royal National Institute for the Deaf – are sold as a so-called ‘Gold File’.
Those on the list are said to be more likely to be homeowners, over the age of 45, holders of a prime credit rating and ‘responsive’ to direct marketing.
This database, of those who have donated between £1 and £20, is touted to other charities. The list even offers ‘wealth indicators’, so the richest donors can be targeted more precisely.
Alchemy also says it has added the donors to its own ‘in-house marketing database’ – meaning their information is being sold to commercial salesmen too. Other databases advertised by Alchemy includes a list of 5,000 who have donated to charities which help the armed forces. Their details can be bought for £150 per thousand – or 15 pence each.
Those in this database are likely to be over 55 and are therefore prime targets for those selling ‘grey market products’, Alchemy claims.
It also offers a list of those who either donate to Royal Voluntary Service or who have ‘responded with positivity’ to campaigns. It specifies that the information for sale relates to women who are aged 50 and over with a prime credit rating who donate to elderly causes. This is, apparently, premium information as these women are likely to be taken in by ‘grey market promotions’.
Advertising this data, Alchemy confirms: ‘Individuals on the file have either donated a cash sum to Royal Voluntary Service’s cold direct marketing campaigns or have responded with positivity; showing strong indication that they are charity-minded, responsive and would contribute to both prize draws and raffle campaigns, as well as mail order, financial orders and other grey market promotions.
‘Data is sourced from reciprocal deals as well as data rentals with charities and other direct mail responsive sources.’
Charity donors have apparently proved to be such lucrative targets that some companies now specialise in selling their personal details.
One, EDM Media, claims to be a firm of ‘charity data experts’ selling 45million donors’ names every year. It claims it is working with more than 200 not-for-profit organisations, and its website lists the hundreds of different databases it is selling to charities who want to solicit donations.
EDM asks potential clients: ‘Are you a military/veteran charity looking for new donors? Then these lists are ideal.’ It also claims to offer ‘the best data for your animal charity campaigns’.
Some of its meticulously sorted lists on offer include ‘charitable bingo players’, ‘UK over-50s’ and ‘charity mail order buyers’.
Charities whose donors appear on EDM’s lists include Save the Children and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
- For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or visit their website www.samaritans.org.