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Helping people with mental health conditions to return to work

March 19, 2015 8:16 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has set out a new plan to help people with mental health conditions return to work.

Later this year, treatment will be available to people on benefits who suffer from a mental health problem at job centres across the country.

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The scheme will give people access to treatments such as talking therapy and online support in job centres, with the aim to help them return to work.

Up to 40,000 people could benefit from access to a mental health treatment course in job centres thanks to an investment of £25m made over the next three years.

Specialists in mental health support will be based in 350 jobcentres across England to provide psychological therapies to those who need more intensive support.

Evidence shows that offering on site support can improve outcomes for people with mental health issues, making it easier for them to get back on their feet.

The new investment follows recommendations made by the Mental Health Taskforce, established by Nick, to look at how the government can rapidly improve services for people with mental health conditions.

Announcing the new funds, Nick said:

"I'm determined to end the out dated attitudes and tackle the stigma that still surrounds mental health.

"People with mental health problems, who haven't been able to work, often need support to get back to working life.

"It is vital therefore that we provide treatment as early as possible, rather than letting their condition worsen, lengthening their time away from a job.

"I set up a cross Government taskforce to look at what can and should be done to raise our game on mental health. One of the key recommendations is to help people back into work who have a mental health problem.

"I'm pleased to say that I've secured the funding to make this a reality and bring mental health services into the job centre for the very first time."

Liberal Democrats are the only party that has put equality for people with mental health problems on the front page of our manifesto.

We are making this a priority for the £8bn a year additional funding we will invest in the NHS by 2020, and will continue to roll out waiting time standards for mental health - delivering better care as part of our goal to build a stronger economy and fairer society.