Disability: Employment

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

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of the population who have access to tailored employment advice support for people who are disabled due to a mental health condition.

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

Specialist advice and employment support for people with mental health conditions is available for all.

The roll out of the Health and Work Conversation across the UK supports work coaches to continue to build engagement with claimants with disabilities and health issues, backed by comprehensive new training which builds skills of empathy and active listening. We have also recruited new disability employment advisers and community partners who are in place in every country and region of the UK.

In addition, all work coaches across the Jobcentre Plus network receive training on supporting people with health conditions and disabilities and we have developed an enhanced mental health training programme for staff, which is now available in every country and region across the UK.

We expect that a large number of the claimants that require additional support through the Work and Health Programme, which will be in place across all areas of England and Wales by March 2018, will be people with mental health conditions. Support on the programme will be personalised to the needs of each participant. Examples of the type of support available includes participants having a personal key worker with regular face to face contact, mentoring and peer support, integrated access to specialist support networks at a local level including health and wellbeing professionals.

Anyone with a mental health condition which affects the way they do their job can apply for support from the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service. This service helps people by providing telephone and online advice and support. Last year, over 1,800 people whose primary condition was recorded as a mental health condition were approved provision from Access to Work – a record number and a 37% increase compared to the previous year.

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