On Tuesday 17 December 2013 the Government published ‘The disability and health employment strategy – the discussion so far’. This document sets out proposals for improving employment support for people with disabilities, mental health problems and other long-term health conditions.
“We support this strategy and are pleased to see that the Government is acknowledging the importance of employment to people with mental health problems. 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year and yet the employment rate of working age people with a mental health problem is just 37 per cent.
“We know that people with mental health problems can and do make a valuable contribution to the workplace, and that an appropriate job can be good for mental wellbeing. However, many will face a number of barriers to getting into, and retaining, employment, and we need to see strong recommendations on addressing these barriers. There is still too much focus on putting those applying for sickness benefit through a damaging assessment process and placing sanctions on those who claim benefits, both of which can actually push people further from the workplace. What is needed is a more tailored, supportive approach.”