Has mental health culture gone too far?


The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride, today said to the Daily Telegraph that "mental health culture has gone too far”.

We disagree with that misguided rhetoric.

Here’s what we think a government minister should be saying about mental health culture.

"There are some who argue that mental health awareness has gone too far. I am not one of those people. But we need balance in the debate.

"For those in work, we need to make sure that both employers and employees understand the importance of reasonable adjustments.

"For people too unwell to work, for example those severely affected by mental illness, we should provide access to timely, financial support that offers a crucial safety net.

"If we get this balance right, we will unlock the huge potential of people living with mental health problems, who in turn reap the benefits of working in a supportive environment.

"Raising awareness is good because it means people will be more likely to access the support they need. But I know that at present there are too many unnecessary barriers that prevent people from accessing that support, which in turn causes distress and harm.

"We know we have not got that balance right overall – and it needs all of society to come together to address it.

"I am calling on employers, employees and people with lived experience to help solve what is a significant issue for everyone involved."

That’s what the Secretary of State should have said. Sadly, his comments were very different.

We look forward to working with the minister to help people into employment while ensuring those too unwell to work are supported under the social security system.