Communications News: No home comforts

Mind is to send this conscience-pricking Christmas card to every MP this week to lobby for an increase to the £15.90 weekly benefits given to long-term hospital patients on mental health wards. Some 22,000 in-patients will have to survive the Christmas period on this sum, which the charity claims leaves nothing for Christmas presents, since it is supposed to cover essentials such as clothes, toiletries and fresh fruit to supplement the hospital diet.

MPs are asked to show their support by signing the back of the card and returning it to the charity. The initiative is part of Mind's Ward Watch campaign, which began in September with a postcard campaign to MPs detailing the problems endured by in-patients in mental health wards.

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