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Psychological Wellbeing and Work

Improving Service Provision and Outcomes

This study has been developed to support policy development and has been funded by the Department of Health, the Department of Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office Contestable Policy Fund. It aims to examine the existing evidence on mental health interventions and propose new approaches to develop the evidence base for future policy development. In commissioning this, Ministers sought further understanding of how employment outcomes of people with common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression can be improved. This report suggests and develops a range of approaches to improve the alignment of mental health and employment services for people with common mental health problems. The intention is to contribute to building a stronger evidence base and improving service delivery in this area, through the piloting of one or some of these approaches by the Government.

Mental health and behavioural disorders are common. At any point, up to 18 per cent of the working age population has a mental health problem (McManus et al., 2010). More pressing, the prevalence of mental health problems among sickness benefit claimants is increasing with over 40 per cent of sickness claims recording a mental or behavioural disorder as a primary condition.1 The costs to the Government and employers of sickness benefits and sickness absence respectively are considerable. Moreover, more effective treatment and employment advice may reduce healthcare utilisation and improve the general health and wellbeing of the population.