Minister seeks views on jobs for people with mental health problems


Social exclusion minister Barbara Roche launched a new consultation
on employment and inclusion for people with mental health problems,
writes Ruth Winchester.

Delegates at the Community Care Live conference heard that
mental health was to one of the “major new projects for the
social exclusion unit”.

The SEU consultation, which closes on the 5 September, is asking
for feedback from professionals, service users, the community and
businesses on the best way to enable people with mental health
problems to get back into paid employment. The consultation’s
results would, Roche said, “build on the new deal for
disabled people and the national service framework for mental

An allied theme is how the same client group can get better
access to other services such as leisure and education and regain
involvement in the life of local community.

“We know that one in six adults suffer from a mental
health problem at some point, and that they can find it very hard
to find and retain jobs,” Roche told delegates. “We
also know that many people also end up being excluded from other
services in the community. And that the stigma attached to
diagnosis can sometimes be more disabling than the illness

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