South Yorkshire mental health sufferers ‘not being supported back into work’, warns charity

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
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A Government back-to-work scheme has failed to get almost 3,000 people in South Yorkshire with mental health problems into jobs in the last three years.

Figures compiled by mental health charity Mind show less than 5 per cent of people in the region classified as having mental health issues have been supported back into employment by the Government’s Work – with not one sucess in Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s constituency.

None of the 70 people with a mental health problem in Mr Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam constituency have been found a job between June 2011 and June 2014, according to the research.

Mind is now calling for people with mental health issues to be taken off mainstream Government back-to-work schemes and put on a specialist programme after its research found current initiatives are ‘ineffective’ and ‘damaging’.

Across South Yorkshire, Mind said just 130 of the 2,920 people listed as having mental health problems have been found new jobs.

Tom Pollard, Mind policy and campaigns manager, said: “These programmes are just not working for people out of work due to their mental health.

“We need everyone out of work because of their mental health problem to be placed onto new, locally commissioned schemes reflecting individual needs.”

The Government said the scheme was working.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “Our programme gives tailored support to each individual and is now helping turn around more lives than any previous scheme.

“It has already helped thousands of people with mental health conditions into work, instead of just writing people off on sickness benefits as often happened in the past”

A spokesman for Mr Clegg said: “The Government launched pilots over the summer to assess new ways to help people with mental health problems get back to work and the autumn statement confirmed these would be extended.”

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