KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – For those of you who believe in telling welfare recipients right to their faces to get a job, you are doing nothing to help them. All you are doing is raising their anxiety and the mental health issues they already have.
People who are financially better off need to be educated to have a better understanding why there are people who have no choice but to rely on the welfare system.
Many people behave towards welfare recipients as if they think, “we do not know visible and invisible disabilities and mental health issues from a hole in the ground.” They don’t consider how income assistance recipients came to be on welfare.
Regular readers of the Nova Scotia Advocate would know that each and every situation is different from one recipient to the next. Some are able to work part time, some do volunteer work.
Many financially better off people seem to automatically jump to the conclusion that welfare recipients are just lazy and do not want to work.
Many welfare recipients are told in a rude and disrespectful manner to get a job is one of the major factors that contributes to the social isolation they feel. It is sad that people are still showing such misunderstanding of mental health issues and invisible disabilities.
As much as the social assistance program has to change in Nova Scotia, so do the attitudes of those who are financially better off toward welfare recipients.
If this would happen then we would all have a better world to live in.
Kendall Worth is an award-winning anti-poverty activist who lives with disabilities and tries to make ends meet on income assistance.
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