Work is good for your mental health

Thought I’d post an article derived from recent proposals from the Government regarding mental health and employment.

The Government has announced that a further £12 million is being invested to support people with mental health conditions return to work.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of people claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) have mental health conditions. Mental ill-health is estimated to cost taxpayers and businesses £105 billion a year in health and police services, welfare benefits and sickness absence.
Four pilot areas will use the funding to test whether better coordination of mental health and employment services could help thousands of people find and stay in work as well as to improve their mental health.

Each of the pilots will test a number of different approaches, including:

• Key workers and individual support packages to help claimants create bespoke action plans and coordinate existing local support services;
• Support for new employees to make sure they can stay in work and cope with anxiety and other on-going problems;
• Training employment advisers to identify mental health problems and GPs to recognise the importance of work in improving mental health.

Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said: “We want people with mental health conditions to have the same opportunities in the world or work as everyone else and not simply be written off as often happened in the past.

Lord Freud - Minister for Welfare Reform“That is why we are trialing different types of support to improve employment and health outcomes for people with common mental health problems.”

The four pilot areas are Blackpool, Greater Manchester, North East Combined Authority and West London Alliance. All four pilots were previously announced as part of the
Growth Deals agreements in July 2014 and will measure the impact of integrated services for 5,000 people.

The £12 million investment includes £6 million from the Department for Communities and Local Government and £6 million match-funding from the pilot areas.

A new cross-government Mental Health Taskforce has also been set up to look at the help people need to get back into work and how to improve crisis care and how to improve crisis care and mental health services for young people.

“These proposals look fine on paper, and that’s all. More measures nationally are needed now to assist people with mental health problems and their key workers, many of them having faced redundancy or relocation in the last few years.”

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