Many people find having a job is good for their mental and physical health. Being in work not only provides income, but can also provide people with a sense of self-worth and fulfilment. For a lot of people, the social contacts they make at work helps to keep them feeling connected to others and part of a community.
Trying to cope in work when you have problems with your mental health can be difficult. Employers and work colleagues may not know how best to support you or may not understand how your mental health condition is affecting you, however help and support is available.
There are a range of benefits available for people looking for work and for people who are not well enough to work.
As an employer it can be hard to know the best way to support someone with their mental health. However, information and guidance is available to employers to help create a healthy and supportive work environment.
New government commitments on employment and mental health
In December 2009 four important publications were launched which together will shape how government will approach mental health and employment in Great Britain:
Working Our Way to Better Mental Health: A Framework for Action
Ths is the first National Mental Health and Employment Strategy for Britain which addresses wellbeing at work for all and better employment results for people with mental health conditions in and out of work.
Realising Ambitions: Better employment support for people with a mental health condition
This is an independent review led by Rachel Perkins and commissioned by the Department of Work and Pensions. It examines strengthening employment, health and wider state support to help people with mental conditions on out of work benefits.
Work, Recovery and Inclusion
This is a cross-government delivery plan for England to support people in contact with secondary mental health services into work. It forms part of the Government response to the Perkins Review mentioned above.
New Horizons: A shared vision for mental health
This is a cross-government report produced by the Department of Health including commitments to action by 11 government departments. For the first time it sets out a new approach with the twin aims of improving people’s quality of life and wellbeing, and improving the quality and accessibility of services for people with poor mental health.
All these documents are available to download at Working for Health