Eighteen leading charities and mental health organisations, including Disability Rights UK, Mind, Liberty and the Trussell Trust are backing a campaign by Rethink Mental Illness calling for an independent inquiry into the deaths of vulnerable people who rely on support from the welfare system.
Rethink Mental Illness has also written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions expressing deep concern about the welfare of vulnerable benefits claimants, following the emergence of evidence that people are being pushed to breaking point from their experience in the welfare system.
In many of the cases which have emerged mental health appears to be a significant factor, including in the widely reported death of Errol Graham, who starved after his benefits were stopped.
A recent report by the National Audit Office showed that the Department for Work and Pensions investigated 69 instances where people receiving benefits have taken their own lives since 2014-15, but suggested it is very likely that there are more cases that could have been investigated.
The statement, co-signed by a wide range of charities and mental health organisations, is accompanied by the launch of a public petition.