Dr Jed Boardman, Lead for Social Inclusion at the Royal
College of Psychiatrists, said:
“These statistics are alarming. Mental health conditions are now
a far more common reason for being signed off work; traditionally
the leading cause was back pain.
“GPs and employers must do more to facilitate a person’s return
to work. GPs will write suggestions on the Fit Note, such as
staggered work days or agreeing specific goals for the returning
employer - both parties need to be more active in tailoring these
suggestions to that person.
“If anything, this new data may underestimate the scale of the
problem. Almost half of benefits claimants of Employment and
Support Allowance in England are receiving payments as the result
of mental and behavioural disorders.
“Ultimately, it is discrimination which can act as the most
significant barrier to those with mental health problems in work.
The Government has committed to putting NHS mental healthcare on a
par with physical healthcare - employers would do well to follow
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