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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
August 23, 2009

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More support to help people with mental-health problems stay in work

The success of a pilot programme to help those with mental-health problems manage their condition and stay in work has prompted the Government to roll out the support nationwide

Six pilots have been running in London since November last year as part of the Access to Work programme, under which the Government, in conjunction with mental-health charity MIND, made support available for those already in work and experiencing difficulty, or for those about to enter the workplace, and for their employers.

Announcing today that the pilots have been 90-per-cent successful in helping people with fluctuating mental-health conditions retain their jobs, the minister for employment and welfare, Jim Knight, said: “I know disabled people dearly want to stay in work, and their employers want to do everything they can to keep good staff. Our plans to offer the right help early on can end the downward spiral of people falling out of work into sick leave, and on to benefits. We are all agreed that helping people stay in work is good news for them, their bosses, and for the taxpayer.”

This autumn, the Government is to publish the first-ever National Strategy for Mental Health and Employment, which will include expectations of employers, health-care professionals, organisations and individuals in improving well-being in the workplace.

Other measures announced include a new network of dedicated mental-health experts across Jobcentre Plus, who will work with colleagues in the health system to coordinate support for people who have mental-health conditions; and a consultation on Right to Control, which will give all disabled people greater choice and control over how public money is spent to meet their individual needs and ambitions.

In addition, the Access to Work fund will be doubled over the next five years, from £69m to £138m, to provide practical advice and financial support for disabled people and their employers to help them overcome work-related obstacles resulting from disability.

Sophie Corlett, Mind’s director of external relations, said: “If employers put their mind to it and provide the right support they can keep their staff mentally well and fit for the workplace. People with mental-health problems want to work but are often failed by employers who lack the understanding or the skills to provide the necessary support. We welcome the Government’s increased investment in mental health, particularly during these difficult economic times when, now more than ever, people need the support and understanding of their employers.”

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.

stress

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