People with mental health problems remain among the most excluded within society and especially within the workplace. Over one million people with mental health conditions are on welfare benefits and the total number who are out of work may be double that figure. It is known that: appropriate employment actively improves mental health and well-being; people with mental health conditions do pursue successful careers; and most people with a mental health condition who are out of work would like to be in paid employment. Yet a combination of prejudice and discrimination, low expectations, and failure to provide the necessary support, continue to deny many the opportunity to work. This review was commissioned to investigate how government could better help fulfill the employment ambitions of this sector of society. It covers the challenges faced by people with a mental health condition and outlines a vision for the future which involves: increasing capacity and dispelling myths; providing more support; effective monitoring and drivers for change. The proposals made can be achieved within existing resources by reviewing priorities, rebalancing resources and replacing traditional services that have proved relatively ineffective or produced poor employment outcomes.
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