Report 48: Mental health, employment and the social care workforce

What keeps people with mental health problems from working in social care?

Too many people have been given the message, both by health professionals and society more generally, that work is not a realistic possibility for them (18)

There are some obstacles to working that are more general across all types of employment, but some are specifically an issue in social care and health, including legislation and guidance that is meant to protect the public from risk but which acts in a discriminatory way preventing people with mental health problems from getting work.

Evidence shows that stigma and discrimination towards people with mental health problems both in wider society and within the workplace still exists, despite efforts to eradicate this. Given this, it is difficult for people to disclose current or past problems with their mental health. Despite much evidence that work is beneficial for mental health, workplaces can be a cause of stress and mental health problems, or make problems worse, and there is often a lack of awareness among managers and staff about what support is needed. However, people do not have to be fully recovered from mental health problems to go back to work.

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