Back to work scheme for mental health patients

  • Published

Guernsey's government has revealed plans for a scheme to help mental health patients return to work.

Psychological treatment will be offered at doctors surgeries in a pilot programme which could run for two years and cost £265,000 a year.

Ed Ashton, social security deputy chief officer, said "early intervention was the key" to dealing with some mental health illnesses.

He said such illnesses accounted for 30% of invalidity benefit claims.

The programme will see five therapists employed to work at various surgeries around the island, but doctors would still have the current option of referring patients on to other practitioners.

It would be the first time mental health therapy would be available at doctors surgeries.

Mr Ashton said: "We know that there are people whose claims perhaps would not last so long and they would get back to work sooner if only they could get access to the right talking therapies at an early stage.

"That won't work for everyone but there will be people who if they get access they would be back at work sooner or may not even go sick in the first place because they could be receiving that talking therapy while they're still at work."

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