Mind says back-to-work scheme is not suitable

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Media captionAlan Meudell said the experience made him think of self employment rather than '9-5' work

A charity says people with mental health problems should not be on the UK government's mainstream back-to-work scheme.

Mind says 5% of people on the Work Programme in Wales with a mental health condition found work, compared with 21% of people with no problems.

It wants a separate, specialist scheme, saying the current one is ineffective.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said the programme offers tailored support to each individual.

'Helped thousands'

Ruth Coombs of Mind Cymru said: "We know that most people who have got mental health problems want to work, they just need different support in order to move them back into work.

"Which is why we're calling for specialist work programmes tailored for people with mental health problems."

On the programme in Wales

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  • Number of people on the Work Programme in Wales: 84,690
  • On the programme with mental health issues: 9,260 - 11%
  • Those who got jobs: 430 - 4%
  • Those without mental health issues who got a job: 14,460 - 21%

Mind surveyed 439 people who were receiving support primarily because of their mental health.

They said 83% of those they spoke to using back to work services through the Work Programme or Jobcentre Plus made their mental health worse.

The same numbers said their self-esteem was worse and 82% agreed that their confidence was worse.

A DWP spokeswoman said: "Mind are overlooking the fact that previous jobs schemes simply didn't do enough for people with mental health conditions.

"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."

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