Deprived of all financial support, experiencing significant mental distress and unable or unwilling to seek help, he slowly starved to death. Department of Work and Pension stopped his out-of-work and housing benefits.
His body was discovered on 20 June 2018 when bailiffs arrived at his Nottingham council flat to evict him for non-payment of rent.
Losing his benefits began in August 2017, when he failed to attend a fit-for-work test for his ESA. The DWP sent Mr Graham reminders in September and October 2017 asking why he did not attend – but had no reply.
Benefit officers then carried out two “safeguarding visits” at his home – again with no reply.
His housing benefit was stopped as a result, cutting off his rent and prompting bailiffs to break down his front door on June 20, 2018. His family were unsure when he was last seen, but the inquest heard it was “perhaps some four weeks” before his death.
This sad new is unsurprising. As Mental health problems are often overlooked, under diagnosed and left untreated as a result of poor understanding, awareness and symptoms being mistakenly treated. Mental illnesses are not perceived to be as serious as physical ones by the public or Government.
Mental-health services are usually the first to be cut if the NHS needs to cut down funds, despite the fact that one in four people in the UK will be affected by a mental-health problem over their lifetime.
The stigma and neglect that faces many people with mental ill-health in the UK will require a substantial shift in public and ministerial attitudes.
Our thoughts and prayers goes out to his family and friends, rest easy Emaciated Errol Graham, 57,