Unemployment: Depressive Illnesses

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 11th June 2014.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Labour, Vale of Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the proportion of people who are currently unemployed who have repeat episode depressions; and what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health on the use of mindfulness-based interventions in making people ready for work.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

We do not keep health data on those who are currently unemployed. However we know that at any one time one in six people has a mental health problem like anxiety or depression, and a further two in a hundred are affected by severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia.

We are currently considering the design of the pilots to test the most promising interventions and evidence-based approaches put forward by RAND Europe and we will be implementing these pilots this year.

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