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Work Programme Making Claimants’ Mental Health Worse, Finds Mind Survey

September 17, 2015

On the day that the DWP is due to release stats on how many people with mental health conditions have been helped by the Work Programme, Paul farmer, CEO of Mind, has written an article for Politics Home.

Here is an extract:

The Work Programme is the Government’s flagship back-to-work scheme – but it is failing people with mental health problems. And if it isn’t working for this group, it’s failing overall, as around half of all ESA claimants are receiving this support primarily due to their mental health. One of the reasons the Work Programme is having little success when it comes to people with mental health problems is that it does not provide tailored support to help people overcome barriers they face in finding and staying in work. What’s more, the pressure to take part in unhelpful or even inappropriate ‘work related activity’ is making many people more unwell. It’s all very well asking people to do things like CV writing courses, but if you’re facing crippling anxiety or suicidal thoughts, it’s not going to do much to help you move into work, especially under the threat of losing your income if you miss the appointment or arrive five minutes late.

Cutting someone’s support for failing to meet certain requirements causes not just financial problems but a great deal of psychological distress too. This punitive approach is backfiring. Mind recently surveyed people whose mental health was the main reason for using back-to-work support through the Work Programme or Jobcentre Plus. A staggering 83 per cent said that this support made their mental health worse or much worse, while 76 per cent said it had led to them feeling less or much less able to work than they were previously. Even the threat of being sanctioned can be enough to cause anxiety. We often hear from people who are filled with dread every time they receive a letter or phone call, in case they’re told the vital support they get from disability benefits has been reduced or stopped altogether.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 17, 2015 8:33 pm

    Reblogged this on perfectlyfadeddelusions.

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