Long Term Unemployed People: Mental Health

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 26th February 2018.

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Photo of Adam Afriyie Adam Afriyie Conservative, Windsor

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the effect of long-term unemployment on the mental health needs of claimants.

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

We know that the longer a working age person is out of work, the more difficult it is for them to return to work and their health and wellbeing may worsen as a result, which is why improving employment support for people with mental health issues is a key priority for this Government.

The Command Paper Improving Lives: The Future of Work, Health and Disability, published in November 2017, outlines actions to improve out of work support, including:

  • Investment in trials, proofs of concept and feasibility studies to test ways to provide specialist support for people with mental health conditions;
  • Doubling the number of employment advisers working in NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services by over 300 by 2019, enabling greater provision of integrated psychological treatment and employment support;
  • Enhancing mental health training for Jobcentre work coaches;
  • Supporting NHS plans to increase access to the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model – a model of integrated employment support within secondary mental health care services.

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