The Government has announced four new pilot schemes across England to help people with mental health problems into work.
The voluntary programmes, which are being trialled in Durham and Tees Valley; Shropshire and Telford; Sussex and Wolverhampton, aim to offer employment support and psychological therapy to those with mental health problems who are struggling to get back into work.
The programme has been developed in conjunction with the Centre for Mental Health and includes help with applying for jobs, going to interviews and coping with any rejections.
Tom Pollard, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Mind, said:
“We know that people with mental health problems experience a number of barriers to getting into, and staying in work. We have long been calling for a more personalised and tailored approach to back-to-work support for people with mental health problems. That’s why we welcome the Government’s pilot projects which aim to help support people with mental health problems into employment."
“We hope that these pilots will represent a significant move away from the current model, where many people with mental health problems are being pressured to undertake support which is often unhelpful or inappropriate. The threat of benefits being withdrawn if people fail to engage with these activities is creating greater anxiety and pushing people further from work."
“With the right support, people with mental health problems can and do make a valuable contribution in the workplace and that this can be a positive step in their recovery. We also need to see employers be more willing to take on people with mental health problems, make adjustments to help them stay in work, and promote good mental health among all employees.”