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Pip assessment. Upsetting question asked about suicide

debr
debr Member Posts: 18 Connected
edited November 10 in PIP, DLA, and AA
my daughter had her pip assessment yesterday I asked the assessor if she was a mental health specialist and she said no none of us are we are benefit assessors she also asked my daughter if she was suicidal and my daughter struggled to answer anyway she replied yes so then the assessor asked what her plan was for carrying it out I was extremely upset by this kind of question my daughter was already worked up as the call was for 10.30 and they didn’t call until 11.15  has anyone else had these issues thank you
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Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,650 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 10
    Hi,
    The assessors do not need to have any medical knowledge of any conditions because PIP isn't awarded based on any diagnosis. The questions they ask are all part of the assessment process, i know some of the questions are very difficult to answer and can cause some people to become extremely stressed.
    Thankfully, it's all over now. She just needs to wait for the decision which can be anything from 2-12 weeks.
  • debr
    debr Member Posts: 18 Connected
    It was so hard to see her all upset like that they have no morals or compassion my daughter is only 19 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,775 Disability Gamechanger
    And yet these are no more than the questions that virtually all suicide awareness training suggests are asked. Been on three courses myself in the past two years and the approach is very clear i.e. don’t mess about. Ask direct questions. If someone has suicidal thoughts then the person asking needs to know whether there is an immediate risk of that person acting on those or what exactly we’re talking about. The way HCPs ask these questions is nothing to do with lack of compassion. It’s exactly the way the issue would be approached by a well trained GP; someone in A&E and so on. The same approach is now being encouraged amongst all front line professionals. 

    In effect people object to the question because they feel a HCP is somehow not qualified to ask and that simply isn’t true. 


  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Member Posts: 1,964 Pioneering
    I had a GPs appointment recently discussing some of the health issues I have been having. He knew I was in a low place and mentioned my mental health deteriorating a little bit and as Mike says, he asked me directly the same question about whether I had suicidal thoughts or any intention to harm myself. 

    I know it’s a different situation but it goes to show they will be direct when they need to be. 
  • debr
    debr Member Posts: 18 Connected
    I think a doctor is asking you because he wants to help you and in a place where he can do that but these pip assessors ask that kind of question then move on as if it doesn’t matter 
  • debr
    debr Member Posts: 18 Connected
    When a professional mental health worker or doctor asks these kind of questions there asking so they can help those pip assessors ask the question then move on to the next question that is not helping the person at all it just makes them feel worthless 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,650 Disability Gamechanger
    They ask you the questions because they are trying to get a picture of exactly how your conditions affect you. The reason they move on is because they have other questions to ask.  If they don't have the full picture the assessment can't be completed. It's stressfull for everyone but we have to go through it if we want to claim these benefits.
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 166

    Scope community team

    Hello @debr welcome to the community, I'm sorry you've had such an unsettling experience, I know it's not easy dealing with all the anxiety around the assessment even when it does run to time, so well done to you and your daughter for getting through it.

    I've moved the discussion to 'PIP, DLA and AA' category so that it's easier for people to find this topic share their experiences. 
    Alex 
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

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  • debr
    debr Member Posts: 18 Connected
    I think it’s shameful the whole process 
  • leeh098
    leeh098 Member Posts: 52 Connected
    edited November 10
    debr said:
    my daughter had her pip assessment yesterday I asked the assessor if she was a mental health specialist and she said no none of us are we are benefit assessors she also asked my daughter if she was suicidal and my daughter struggled to answer anyway she replied yes so then the assessor asked what her plan was for carrying it out I was extremely upset by this kind of question my daughter was already worked up as the call was for 10.30 and they didn’t call until 11.15  has anyone else had these issues thank you
    I had a assessment last year and they asked the same question, And I had another assessment last Wednesday and they asked it again, I think they ask all applicants this question. Times they call vary, Some assessments take longer than others, I was only on the phone for 30 mins for mine.
  • debr
    debr Member Posts: 18 Connected
    The clue is in the title health care professionals (care) clearly not
  • debr
    debr Member Posts: 18 Connected
    We were on the phone from 11.15 till 1 .35
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 6,575

    Scope community team

    We've heard from other people who've also found that question triggering or upsetting @debr, so your daughter isn't the only one to feel a bit thrown by it. Although it's usually better to be direct when asking about suicidal thoughts and feelings, I can understand what you mean about the context having an effect on how this can make you feel about it. If there's not much follow up or aftercare, it can feel as though negative feelings are brought up without necessarily much closure.

    Is your daughter receiving any support for her mental health at the moment? 
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

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  • debr
    debr Member Posts: 18 Connected
    Yes she is she’s talking to her today thankfully and yeah it was the worst pone call I’ve had to deal with 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,775 Disability Gamechanger
    Try and imagine what would happen if the HCP did not ask the question in a case where there was a clear history of MH issues and when the call ended that person then attempted to self harm to a greater or lesser degree. It would be negligent to not ask the question. Yes, the move on can feel very focused but then they have multiple assessments to get through on one day. 
  • debr
    debr Member Posts: 18 Connected
    Very help very caring so telling you that yes I’m suicidal then moving on changes what exactly 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,650 Disability Gamechanger
    debr said:
    Very help very caring so telling you that yes I’m suicidal then moving on changes what exactly 

    They have to move on once that question is asked because they have other questions to ask. They have other assessments to get through.
    You already said they were late calling to start with, this happens when previous assessments take longer, it happens and can't be helped.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,650 Disability Gamechanger
    leeh098 said:
    debr said:
    my daughter had her pip assessment yesterday I asked the assessor if she was a mental health specialist and she said no none of us are we are benefit assessors she also asked my daughter if she was suicidal and my daughter struggled to answer anyway she replied yes so then the assessor asked what her plan was for carrying it out I was extremely upset by this kind of question my daughter was already worked up as the call was for 10.30 and they didn’t call until 11.15  has anyone else had these issues thank you
      I think they ask all applicants this question.

    No, they don't. It would be pointless asking someone this question if they're not claiming for mental health reasons. I don't claim for this reason and have never been asked this question because it's not related to how my conditions affect me.
  • leeh098
    leeh098 Member Posts: 52 Connected
    debr said:
    Very help very caring so telling you that yes I’m suicidal then moving on changes what exactly 

    They have to move on once that question is asked because they have other questions to ask. They have other assessments to get through.
    You already said they were late calling to start with, this happens when previous assessments take longer, it happens and can't be helped.
    That is very true, They was late calling me, It says on the text it can be up to 30 mins later, Some assessments take longer and some shorter, As mine was only 30 minutes as I do not have Mobility issues, They did not ask me any questions regarding this.
  • leeh098
    leeh098 Member Posts: 52 Connected
    leeh098 said:
    debr said:
    my daughter had her pip assessment yesterday I asked the assessor if she was a mental health specialist and she said no none of us are we are benefit assessors she also asked my daughter if she was suicidal and my daughter struggled to answer anyway she replied yes so then the assessor asked what her plan was for carrying it out I was extremely upset by this kind of question my daughter was already worked up as the call was for 10.30 and they didn’t call until 11.15  has anyone else had these issues thank you
      I think they ask all applicants this question.

    No, they don't. It would be pointless asking someone this question if they're not claiming for mental health reasons. I don't claim for this reason and have never been asked this question because it's not related to how my conditions affect me.
    That explains why they asked me this twice on both assessments, as I have Personality Disorder, OCD and Autism.

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