Latest Public Sector News

03.10.13

Employers must do more to support mental health issues

More work is needed to overcome barriers to employment for people with mental health conditions, a new briefing from the Centre for Mental Health has urged. 

The report looks at what interventions work, where gaps exist in the system, and how good practice can be extended across the country. It criticises some of the current models provided, including the Work Programme, as “ineffective” and calls for commissioners, GPs and employers to work together to make support into employment a priority. 

People with mental health problems are much less likely to be in paid employment than those without, and people who are unemployed for at least six months are more likely to develop depression. 

The Centre for Mental Health points to the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) programme as having “overwhelming evidence of success”. 

Jan Hutchinson, director of programmes at the Centre for Mental Health said: “Employment is an important part of life, not least because it is good for our physical and mental health. And so it is vital that anyone who wants to work gets support in doing so, no matter what their circumstance or how ‘job ready’ clinical staff think they are.

“As this briefing shows, there are still numerous barriers to employment – especially for those with mental illness. And so we encourage local authorities to link up with GPs, CCGs and local services to provide a network of support for those who need it. Raising the employment rate of people with mental health problems to a level somewhere near that of the general population is something we should be aiming for. And by using examples of best practice including the IPS model, we can begin to look at how best to support our workforce both into and in work.” 

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