Tuesday 14 May 2019

Post Office vs Mental Health

A couple of tweets posted yesterday by the Post Office comms team and the Post Office communications director have raised the hackles of campaigning former and existing Subpostmasters.

The tweets in question are as follows. First this one from the comms team:
and then this one from the Post Office Director of Communications, Mark Davies:
Now, as readers may be aware, the Post Office stands accused of mentally destroying several Subpostmasters through its business practices.

I am aware of two cases where surviving relatives (some in part, some wholly) blame the Post Office for their loved ones' suicides. You can read one of those stories here. I know of one woman who had a complete breakdown and was subsequently institutionalised for her own safety after being pursued by the Post Office for discrepancies her branch.

Former Postmaster Bal Gill has also written about his Post Office-induced breakdown on this blog as has Wendy Martin. I suspect this is the tip of the iceberg.

So as you might expect, the rather self-satisfied tone of yesterday's tweets from the Post Office has caused something of a reaction. Here are few examples:

I have asked the Post Office for comment on this, both via email and directly on twitter, but the strength of reaction has got me thinking. I have never really collated the stories of the mental breakdowns described by Subpostmasters before. It's always been the legal or financial implications of what happened to them. But describing what happened to individual Subpostmasters' mental health whilst their livelihoods were under attack is just as important, and it's about time I started to do this properly.

If you believe your mental health has been directly affected by the Post Office as a result of discrepancies in your branch or changes to your working practices, please do get in touch. I would like to put together a body of testimony on this specific subject.

If you wish to discuss this sensitive area, use the contact form on the desktop version of this website (in the right hand nav bar). Or if you're already a secret emailer, just hit reply to any of the secret emails you've been receiving. Both methods are secure, confidential and go straight to my inbox.

UPDATE: I am delighted to tell you that a number of very brave people came forward to tell the story of their anguish at the hands of the Post Office. These are harrowing reads:

Deirdre Connolly - "It's been a living hell."
Tracy Felstead - "They didn't care that I was just this scared girl."
Nicki Arch - "I hate everything about it. I will not go into a Post Office."

For more stories like Deirdre, Tracy, Nicki, Wendy and Bal's, please visit the victim testimony page of this website.


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