Government backs WLA

The government has confirmed backing for the West London Alliance’s Mental Health & Employment Integration Trailblazer as part of a £12 million programme of investment in helping people with mental health conditions return to work.

Nearly half (46%) of people claiming Employment and Support Allowance have mental health conditions while mental ill-health is estimated to cost taxpayers and businesses £105 billion a year in health and police services, welfare benefits and sickness absence.

The WLA scheme will be one of four pilot projects which will test whether better coordination of mental health and employment services could help people find and stay in employment as well as improve their mental health.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “It is shocking to think that mental health is now the leading cause of illness in the workplace. It’s even more shocking that many of the people suffering are simply not getting the support they need.

“That’s why I’m working hard in government to bring mental health out of the shadows. I’m heading up a dedicated mental health taskforce and pushing for investment in pilots like this to help create a fairer society where people get the right support and treatment they need, when they need it.”

Cllr Peter John, London Councils’ executive member for skills and employment, said: “It’s encouraging the government is backing this vital and pioneering project to support people with mental health issues into work.

“Locally-led schemes which provide targeted and integrated employment services have proved time and time again to be successful at getting people with complex needs into jobs.

“As one of the pilot programmes agreed in the London Growth Deal, we’re hopeful this project will help unlock the door to devolution of employment support programmes across the capital.”

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