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New Program To Improve Employers Attitude To The Mentally Ill, Launched In UK

Discussion in 'News, Politics & Debates' started by anthony, Oct 26, 2006.

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  1. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    A new initiative encouraging employers to improve the way they deal with mental health in the workplace has been launched by UK Health Minister Rosie Winterton.

    The three year initiative, called Action on Stigma, urges employers to sign up to a set of anti-stigma principles - for example, demonstrating that they have made changes in their work environment and employment practices to ensure that people with mental health problems are treated fairly and equally with others.

    Many employers who have taken part in projects to make their workplace culture more ‘mental health friendly’ have reported reduced staff turnover and sickness absences. Despite this: Only about 20% of people with severe mental health problems are employed, compared to 65% of people with physical health problems and 75% for the whole adult population

    Even for people with more common types of mental illness, such as depression, only about half are competitively employed. However, people with mental health problems have the highest ‘want to work rate’ with up to 90% wanting to work, compared to 52% for disabled people generally.

    Although some of the principles are voluntary, adopting them will help public sector organisations, including local councils, government departments and hospitals, to meet the requirements of a new duty under the Disability Discrimination Act which comes into force in December 2006. This will require them to set out precisely how they intend to eliminate unlawful discrimination and promote equality of opportunity.
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