Question Time Audience Slams Rod Liddle Over Link Between Mental Health And Poverty

One person said it was "absolutely ridiculous” not to think there was a connection between the two issues.
Columnist Rod Liddle was under fire for his opinions about mental health and poverty last night on BBC Question TIme
Columnist Rod Liddle was under fire for his opinions about mental health and poverty last night on BBC Question TIme
BBC Question Time

BBC Question Time’s audience furiously unleashed on Rod Liddle last night over the correlation between mental health and poverty.

The columnist said he had “some sympathy”with work and pensions secretary Mel Stride, after he claimed mental health has “gone too far”.

He said the UK does have a problem in this area, but “it’s not something associated with poverty”, but more to do with the lack of community.

“There is a link between affluence and the kind of introspection that comes about,” he said.

However, this did not go down well with the audience.

One woman said: “I’m a therapist, I work in a school, so I know what I’m talking about.

“Rod, if you think mental health has nothing to do with poverty, can I suggest you live in poverty for six months and I will give you a free psychotherapy session, and we’ll chat about your mental health.

“It’s absolutely everything.”

The audience erupted in a round of applause at that.

Liddle just said the wealthier the UK has become, the more therapists and psychiatrists we have.

He said the cause of this growing mental health crisis needs to be investigated, adding: “It’s not the Tories – they don’t help, obviously, but it’s not the Tories.”

A medical student in the audience also slammed Liddle’s comments, saying it was “absolutely ridiculous” for him to think poverty has nothing to do with mental health.

She continued: “People can’t afford food for their kids.

“They can’t get have a job because there aren’t any up here because the Tory government hasn’t invested money up here.”

Liddle claimed: “It isn’t. If you look at the figures, it isn’t.”

He said that two issues do not “correlate”, adding that “some of the poorest countries in the world have some of the highest levels of social solidity and the lowest level of mental health problems.”

When fellow panellist Philippa Gregory said there was a correlation in the UK though, Liddle just maintained: “Not everything is the fault of the Tories. They may be awful, but not everything is their fault.”

Then, as Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron noted, “we are a society that is more free to talk about our mental health”, Liddle said: “It can go too far.”


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