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An increasing number of influential bodies are calling for the capricious benefit sanctions regime to be reformed so that people are provided with the human rights protections they are entitled to.  Among the specific issues of most concern to these various bodies have been the impact of benefit sanctions on mental health, as well as the impact of sanctions on children.

Suicide rates in disadvantaged areas of Northern Ireland are three times higher than the regional average. Areas such as the Lower Falls district in Belfast have been disproportinately affected. Following yet another tragic death of a young man from the Divis Street bridge, a local self help group, the Square Cut Punt Crew, decided to campaign to get the bridge heightened.  The group felt that heightening the bridge would act as a key preventative measure against suicide and was both concrete and achievable. This article explains how in just a few months they have built an active campaign and how they have come up witht their own innovative way of measuring change - in the form of a measuring stick! 

‘For I was hungry, and you did not feed me...whatever you did not do for those of the least among you,  you did not do for me’

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'Things changed because of us'  
Mental Health Activists tell their stories of achieving change in the health system. 15 minute film with inspiring individual testimony by people directly affected by mental health issues and their involvement in campaigning for better mental health services.