Jobcentre Plus sign.
People on benefits who suffer from mental health conditions could be offered treatment at jobcentres, it has been announced.

Up to 40,000 people could benefit from access to a mental health treatment course in jobcentres, costing £25 million over the next three years.

The scheme will provide access to treatments such as talking therapy and online support in jobcentres, with the aim of helping more people with mental health conditions into work.

Mental health specialists will be based at 350 jobcentres across England to provide psychological treatment to mentally ill benefit claimants. Evidence suggests that offering onsite support could improve the work prospects for unemployed people with mental health issues.

photo credit: madamepsychosis via photopin cc
photo credit: madamepsychosis via photopin cc

The new scheme follows recommendations made by the Mental Health Task Force, established by the Liberal Democrats. The task force explored ways the government could improve the support available for people with mental health conditions.

The Liberal Democrats say they will put equality for people with mental health problems on the front page of their manifesto.

An additional £8bn a year funding will assist the NHS in delivering better care for people with mental health problems.

Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “I’m determined to end the out dated attitudes and tackle the stigma that still surrounds mental health.

“People with mental health problems, who haven’t been able to work, often need support to get back to working life.

“It is vital therefore that we provide treatment as early as possible, rather than letting their condition worsen, lengthening their time away from a job.

“I set up a cross Government taskforce to look at what can and should be done to raise our game on mental health. One of the key recommendations is to help people back into work who have a mental health problem.

“I’m pleased to say that I’ve secured the funding to make this a reality and bring mental health services into the job centre for the very first time.”