In response to reports on the Disability News Service website, Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
"It's important to clarify that Mind has no plans to bid or tender for back-to-work contracts from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that would include any element of mandation or sanction.
"Mind strongly believes that the current punitive approach is cruel and inappropriate. Sanctioning people - cutting their benefits for failing to do certain activities - can make their mental health worse, and simply doesn't work. Mind has no current or future plans to bid or tender for any services which would conflict with this position. We only bid for contracts that align with our values and that would allow us to offer our expertise in providing person-centred, supportive back-to-work and employment retention services.
"The vast majority of people with mental health problems who are out of work tell us that they want to work and would be able to do so with the right support. Unfortunately people with mental health problems face many barriers in getting into and staying in work, from employer attitudes to poor support from Jobcentres. Our local Minds provide voluntary tailored support to help people with mental health problems find and stay in supportive, appropriate employment."