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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Rise in sick notes due to mental health alarming

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 their example.”

For further information, please contact:
Hannah Perlin
Senior Communications Officer
Telephone: 020 3701 2738
Nick Hodgson
Media Manager 
Telephone: 0203 701 2593
Twitter: @rcpsych
Out-of-hours contact number: 07860 755896


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