Briefing 47: Barriers to employment

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What works for people with mental health problems

3 October 2013

For most of us, having paid work is essential for wellbeing and financial security. But, as this briefing finds, for many people who require some support to get into work, especially those with mental health problems, the right to employment support is not being upheld and numerous barriers remain.

By looking at what interventions work as well as where gaps exist in evidence-based interventions and what might be tested to develop that evidence, we can see that some current models of supported employment including some provided by the Work Programme and Work Choice, are ineffective. Whereas models like Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an intervention for which service users, clinicians and researchers alike have seen overwhelming evidence of success and yet is still not available for large numbers of people.

The briefing urges commissioners and providers of both employment services and health and social care to make support into employment a priority.

Audience: Commissioners, mental health services, employment services.

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