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Mental-health problems to be tackled by Jobcentres

7 December 2009

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Support for people with mental-health problems is to include co-ordinators at Jobcentres and advice lines for small businesses.

The latter will provide support to keep people in work when health issues arise, and offer direct access to occupational-health professionals.

The aim is to improve job opportunities, part of a new mental-health and employment strategy, and follows a review by Dr Rachel Perkins at the West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust.

She says: “People with mental-health conditions remain among the most excluded within our society, particularly in the workplace.

“We know that work improves mental health and wellbeing, and most people with a mental-health condition would like to be in work and pursuing a career.”

Meanwhile, Work and Pensions Secretary Yvette Cooper is expected to announce extra support to help disabled people find jobs.

She says: “We know that work is good for people and that’s why we want to give everyone the support they need to stay in a job, or get back to work.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

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Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“I am having the same problems with jobcentre after attending a medical for ESA that can only be described as an insult to the medical profession’s name. After taking many years to feel trusting enough to speak to my GP about mental health problem, the jobcentre come along and expect me to speak indepth to an ignorant medical examiner that I neither know nor trust and is more interested in interrupting my answers and hammering on their keyboard. I have absolutely no more faith in this government’s ability to treat people reasonably and fairly. I am now having to go to a tribunal, which is really worrying me as my biggest problem lies with social phobia and depression, in all honesty I already have thoughts (that i’m fighting) of ending my life, and the added blackness of this whole mess is making it seem so much worse. I just wish they could leave it to the real professionals to help people like myself, all i want is help with my problems and to have a so-called normal life and career” – JC, Stockton-on-Tees

“How incredibly dangerous. The only people advising the mentally ill should be qualified psychiatrists and mental health teams through the NHS. If someone is already under the care of a mental health team, then there is no way uneducated and untrained jobcentre jobsworths should be allowed to bully and pester these patients, however much our moronic MPs insist ‘it’s good for them'” – C Court, London

“I can guarantee you in the Jobcentre environment, which can be unfriendly and hostile, you won’t get many takers. The only people that can advise properly are mental health counsellors. Filling in a form and ticking boxes will not give a correct account of someones mental illness at any stage. We all go through different stages depending on the type of depression, you cant treat a bi-polar depressive in the same way as a manic depressive” – ygentles, London

“Once again the government and its highly expensive think/policy tanks have failed to hold meaningful consultations with those professionals who are on the ground delivering frontline service provision. I am a Vocational Support Adviser working in London for a mental health charity; we are all extremely fed up with the constant changes/dictates that take  place on a regular basis and then have a huge and negative impact on our service users; this is indicative of a government which really doesn’t have a clue. Please don’t get me started on the massive negative impact the new ESA medicals are having either; surely, it’s about time someone listened to the practitioners of mental health service provision and, by that, I mean ‘ground staff'” – J Hayden, London

“I hate being told ‘what’s good for me’ by any one, including Jobcentre staff who are not psychiatrists or even health professionals” – P Wright, London