An Oxfordshire charity has called proposed changes to welfare payments an "attack" on those with mental illnesses. 

Proposed changes announced on Monday by Mel Stride, secretary of state for work and pensions, could mean people with depression and anxiety might lose their sickness benefits. 

Mr Stride addressed the Commons on Tuesday about the plans which will be published in a Green Paper.

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Oxfordshire Mind chief executive Jess Willsher said the organisation urged the government to "halt their continued attack on disabled people". 

"Instead focus on addressing the underlying issues in the current system, including the severe lack of funding for mental health," Ms Willsher said. 

A spokeswoman for Oxfordshire Mind said the charity was deeply concerned about how changes to welfare payments could impact client wellbeing.

"As advocates for mental health, Oxfordshire Mind understands the intimate link between financial stability and mental well-being," she said. 

The group said the changes proposed - particularly to the personal independence payment (PIP) - had raised alarm bells with professionals. 

"Reassessment can exacerbate anxiety and depression, further burdening individuals who are already struggling with their mental health," the spokeswoman said.

"The focus should be on compassionate policies that uplift and empower individuals, rather than adding to their distress."

Additional support is available through the Benefits for Better Mental Health (BBMH) service or the Mind information line on 01865 247788.