Figures reveal failure to help Chichester mental illness sufferers

Department of Work & Pensions building/sign ENGANL00120130404105523
Department of Work & Pensions building/sign ENGANL00120130404105523

SHOCKING figures revealing a failure to help those with mental health issues find work have been revealed by a leading charity today (December 11).

In the past three years, not one person in the Chichester constituency with mental health problems was helped back into work by the government’s work programme, according to Mind.

Between June, 2011, and June, 2014, 290 of the 1,010 people on the work programme in the constituency found work.

However, none of those listed as having mental health problems went back to work.

“Most people with mental health problems who are out of work want to work and would be able to do so with the right support,” said Mind chief executive Paul Farmer.

“Improving back-to-work support would help hundreds of thousands of people move into employment.”

Mind is calling for all people with mental health problems to be taken off mainstream government back-to-work schemes and moved on to a specialist programme.

It claims its research shows support provided through the work programme and Jobcentre Plus is damaging people’s health and making them feel less able to work.

Across the south east, only seven per cent of the 16,810 people with mental health problems were helped back to work.

Nationally, only five per cent were helped into work.

Eighty-three per cent of those surveyed receiving support primarily because of their mental health said using back-to-work services had made their mental health ‘worse’ or ‘much worse’.

“It’s perverse that programmes which are supposed to help those who are unwell and struggling to get into work are having the opposite effect, damaging their health,” said Mr Farmer.

“These schemes are not appropriate for people with mental health problems.”

A spokesman for the department of work and pensions said: “Mind are overlooking the fact that previous jobs schemes simply didn’t do enough for people with mental health conditions.

“Our work programme gives tailored support to each individual and is now helping turn around more lives than any previous scheme.”