‘Modest progress’ on social exclusion

A government report hailing the success of its project to reduce social exclusion for people with mental health problems has received a mixed response from campaigners.

The review of the first year of the national social inclusion programme highlights the “significant progress” it has made. This includes changing incapacity benefit rules so that returning to work is more flexible for people with mental health problems and publishing guidance on inclusive day services.

Andy Bell, director of communications at the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, said valuable progress had been made but there was a long way to go.

He said mental well-being should be made a compulsory part of the national healthy schools standard and argued that the Shift anti-stigma programme needed more than the 1m annual funding it gets now.

Mind policy officer Sue Christoforou said the charity had “significant concerns” about training on mental health given to incapacity benefit advisers.

  • National Social Inclusion Unit annual report from www.nimhe.org.uk

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