New plans put employment in reach of millions with mental health problems
Posted Monday 7 December 2009
Today has seen the launch of a new independent review into how people with mental health problems can be better supported to help them get back into work, Realising ambitions: Better employment support for people with a mental health condition.
Mind’s Chief Executive Paul Farmer, who helped produce the review said:
It’s a common myth that if you’ve got a mental health problem, you will struggle to hold down an ordinary, competitive job, and this stigma is one of the biggest barriers that stops people with mental distress from getting meaningful employment. Unemployment is often painted as a personal failure, but in reality people with mental health problems are often let down by employment services, and are often let down by employers who are unwilling to recruit staff they think are ‘more work’.
This review presents evidence that the best way to get a job is to start the process as soon as possible, using individually tailored support. The Individual Placement Support model shows that when health and employment services work together, many people can be guided into competitive employment, which can ultimately improve their mental health. For once, this isn’t about extra funding – the resources we need are already there, they just need to work together more effectively to resolve people's individual needs.
People with mental health problems are the most likely to want to work, and the least likely to actually be in employment of any disabled group. The recommendations here show how at last, this gap can be closed, and that meaningful employment can become an achievable goal for millions of people with mental distress.