£12 million to help people with mental health problems get back into work

Nearly half (46%) of people claiming Employment and Support Allowance have mental health conditions while mental ill-health is estimated to cost taxpayers and businesses £105 billion a year in health and police services, welfare benefits and sickness absence.

Four pilot areas will use the funding to test whether better coordination of mental health and employment services could help thousands of people find and stay in employment as well as improve their mental health.

Each of the pilots will test a number of different approaches, including:

• key workers and individual support packages to help claimants create bespoke action plans and coordinate existing local support services

• support for new employees to make sure they can stay in work and cope with anxiety and other ongoing problems

• training employment advisers to identify mental health problems and for GPs to recognise the importance of work in improving mental health

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

‘It is shocking to think that mental health is now the leading cause of illness in the workplace. It’s even more shocking that many of the people suffering are simply not getting the support they need.’

‘That’s why I’m working hard in government to bring mental health out of the shadows. I’m heading up a dedicated mental health taskforce and pushing for investment in pilots like this to help create a fairer society where people get the right support and treatment they need, when they need it.’

Local Government Minister Kris Hopkins said:

‘Mental health is a big problem but we can do something about it. As the successful Troubled Families programme has shown, by bringing different services together in a way that works for the people who need them, we can get better results for individuals and save money for the taxpayer too.’

‘These programmes will help show how better coordinated health, care and employment services can get people back to work or reduce their sickness absences. That’s not only good for businesses and the economy but, more even importantly, can help make people healthier and happier.’

Read the full transcript.

News update