North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group

The North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group was established in 1998. You can find much more detail within our ever increasing archive of minutes and you can find our revised mission statement here. We were initially one of several sub-groups of GMWRAG but soon established its own strong and distinctive identity. Some of you may even remember the Community Care Welfare Rights Advisers Group; the Social Policy group; the Take-Up Group and so on.

It is for Welfare Rights Advisers who deal mainly with people with mental health problems to meet regularly to discuss issues pertinent to this client group. The group is made up of a number of organisations across the North West (e.g. from Sheffield to Liverpool), including Local Authorities, CABx, Voluntary Agencies, Health Trusts, etc.

The aim of the group is to share knowledge, information and good working practices in the specialist area of benefits and mental health with the intention of improving access to services; take up of appropriate benefits and easing the process of claiming for this client group.

The group often arranges speakers on relevant subjects e.g. specific mental health conditions, Jobcentre Plus procedures for vulnerable claimants, Tribunal Service full time judges etc.

The group takes on social policy work where appropriate eg raising with local MP’s and government ministers the difficulties for mental health claimants following the introduction of the Contact Centre and telephone claims procedures, feedback on the new DLA claim form format in relation to mental health, incapacity exemptions for people with a severe mental impairment etc.

The group meetings are held the last Friday of the month, on approximately a quarterly basis,  from 10:00am to 12noonish. Venues vary from meeting to meeting but are generally in Manchester. All workers in the field of benefits and mental health are welcome.

We will usually issue a post ahead of each meeting with the draft agenda; links to minutes of the last meeting and details of exactly which room in Manchester Town Hall (or sometimes elsewhere) the meeting will be held in. Current meeting dates include Friday the 28th of September 2018 and Friday the 30th of November 2018.

Please keep an eye on this page and future minutes for any change in these dates.

The group had its own site until November 2011. All the information from that site is now stored within the GMWRAG site including minutes of previous meetings and examples of work undertaken by the group.

GMWRAG will continue to publicise NWMHWRG meetings via new posts here but in the meantime you will find relevant links below.