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Thursday, 3 September 2009

Help for workers with mental health conditions

  • Published: Monday, 24 August 2009

Thousands of people with mental health problems are to get extra support with their condition so that they can continue working. The government is planning to extend the 'In work support' pilot scheme that has proved 90 per cent successful in helping people with fluctuating mental health conditions to stay in their jobs.

'In work support'

More about mental health and the workplace

'In work support' pilot schemes, run in partnership with mental health charity Mind, have been run across the country, providing extra help for people with fluctuating mental health conditions.

These pilot schemes have been 90 per cent successful in helping these people stay in their jobs.

Based on the success of the 'In work support' programme, the government is looking to extend the scheme, with an expectation of rolling out nationally with a range of providers.

Jim Knight, Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform, said: "I know disabled people dearly want to stay in work and their employers want to do everything they can to keep good staff.

"Our plans to offer the right help early on can end the downward spiral of people falling out of work into sick leave, and onto benefits. We are all agreed that helping people stay in work is good news for them, their bosses and for the taxpayer."

Other measures to help people with mental health problems to stay in work include:

  • a new network of dedicated mental health experts across Jobcentre Plus to work with colleagues in the health system to provide support for people who have mental health conditions
  • the ‘Right to Control’ consultation, which will give disabled people, including those with mental health problems, greater choice and control over how public money is spent to meet their needs
  • doubling the Access to Work fund, from £69 million to £138 million - providing practical advice and financial support to disabled people and their employers

Fay from London, who took part in an 'In work support' pilot, said: "The support was great and l wish it had been there when l was previously off sick from work.  I found it particularly helpful in the way it kept me in contact with my employer while I was off – I never felt completely isolated from work.

"I found myself doing things that I normally would have found terrifying.  I wouldn’t have been able to cope on my own and definitely wouldn’t have gone back to work without the support given.  I would recommend this service to others with a similar condition."

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