SPS team launch recommendations on mental health, welfare conditionality, and employment
Social & Political Sciences' colleagues, in partnership with social security and mental health experts, have launched a series of recommendations to help support people with mental health problems in entering, maintaining, and returning to work.
The team of Professor Sharon Wright, Professor Nick Bailey, Dr Alasdair Stewart, Dr Anna Gawlewicz, and Professor Vittal Katikireddi, has co-produced the recommendations with social security and mental health experts including Poverty Alliance, Inclusion Scotland and Mind. The recommendations are informed by research funded by the Health Foundation.
The key recommendations are:
- Build a trusted and transparent social security system, where people with mental health problems are not subject to a one-size-fits-all approach to conditionality.
- Provide personalised support and improve the experiences of people with mental health problems in Jobcentre Plus.
- UK and Scottish Governments should provide sustainable investment to evidence-based, personalised employability interventions for people with mental health problems. Specifically, Individual Placement and Support services should be fully integrated into UK and Scottish employability provision.
The Health Foundation funded research that informs the recommendations finds that there are huge discrepancies between the UK’s policy statements and the actual experience of people with mental health problems. Despite being increasingly present in policy documents, mental health remains invalidated within the welfare system.
Sharon said 'Reform is urgently needed to the current provision of employment support for people with mental health problems across the UK. Mental health needs to be better recognised in our social security system and people with mental health problems need much more support without the fear of losing entitlement.'
The full report is available to download.
First published: 4 November 2020