The Government’s new initiative to inform GPs about the benefits of work to health is an important step to help prevent people with mental health problems being caught in a spiral of unemployment, poverty and ill health, the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health said today.
Bob Grove, Sainsbury Centre director of employment, said: “Unemployment is as bad for your health as smoking or obesity. Yet every year thousands of people with depression and other mental health problems are signed off sick for long periods and end up losing their job.
“It is vital that GPs and NHS staff are aware of the impact of long-term sickness absence and that they offer appropriate support to people who have a medical certificate to return to work. We welcome today’s initiative by the DWP and call for further action to give GPs the support they need to give their patients the best possible help.”
Later this month, the Sainsbury Centre will publish a briefing paper showing how GPs can help patients back to work and what policy changes are needed to make that possible.
Notes to Editors
Lord McKenzie today launched a new leaflet for GPs which highlights key findings of evidence to date, and will help doctors and other health care professionals dispel myths and offer practical support for their day-to-day dealings with patients.
For all media enquiries and more information about our forthcoming briefing paper, Work and Wellbeing, please contact Andy Bell on 020 7827 8353 or 07810 503638.
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