‘Mental health culture’ is not to blame for unemployment figures


Recent comments that blame ‘mental health culture’ for employment figures are false.

To create a social security system fit for the 21st Century, we must challenge these claims. 

Here are some facts you can trust.

Receiving long-term social security payments for mental illness is incredibly tough

You do not receive financial support because of mild mental health concerns or general ups and downs. On the contrary, even those of us living with severe mental illness are often denied support and declared fit for work.

The rise in people out of work since the pandemic is not specific to mental health

The numbers out of work primarily for mental health reasons has risen by 16% post pandemic. For musculoskeletal problems, the rise is 27%. For cardiovascular problems, the rise is 36%.

People can be supported back into work through tailored schemes like Individual Placement and Support (IPS) 

Suitable employment which offers reasonable adjustments is accessible and desirable for most people experiencing mental illness. IPS clients are twice as likely to gain employment (55% v 28%), when compared with other vocational/rehabilitation services.

Discrimination around mental illness at work is still prevalent 

61% of people living with severe mental illness report that fear of stigma and discrimination prevented them from applying for a job or promotion at work.