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Joint Pledge on Welfare

One consequence of the economic depression has been increased anxiety and depression. Coupled with government priorities for tackling the deficit, by reducing borrowing and cutting welfare spending, increased worries about debt, job insecurity and changes to out of work benefits for 5 million people with little to no access to NHS talking therapy services represents a mental health crisis.

In 2010 the New Savoy Partnership approached Lord Freud (Minister for Welfare Reform) directly, to support an initiative with leading providers for the Work Program, who agreed a Joint Pledge to train their employment adviser workforce using DWP’s Mental Health Toolkit. We also helped to persuade DWP and DH (Lord Freud and Rt Hon. Norman Lamb MP, Minister for Care and Support) to commission the RAND report on how a joined up approach to providing psychological therapies for people on out of work benefits could be implemented. Pilots have been established in 2014 with support of the Cabinet Office (Rt Hon. Oliver Letwin MP, Cabinet Minister for Government Policy).

In 2015 the outcome of the election will be further welfare cuts. It is incumbent on the psychological therapies field to come together to meet the mental health needs of those impacted by these cuts. Our work will continue to support this.

Jeremy Clarke CBE
Founding Chair, New Savoy Partnership

Joint pledge on work and mental well-being

Too many people are disadvantaged by a combination of mental ill health and unemployment. Too many are left to deal alone with combined worry about their mental health, and the demoralising impact of being out of work for too long, due to lack of access to the support that would help them obtain employment, and improve their mental well-being.

We pledge to work together and with government, clinicians, specialist services, employers and voluntary and community organisations to change this for the better for everyone. We welcome the opportunity the Work Programme provides to support more people with mental health conditions into appropriate and sustainable employment.

Specifically, we will develop our expertise to help people with mental health conditions find, enter and remain in employment.

We will ensure across our whole organisations that our workforce is educated on mental health conditions and the value of work to health. We will equip our teams with best practice methods so they can support people with a range of mental health needs.

We will work with experts across employment and mental health sectors to deliver best outcomes for both, and listen to our service users to understand what they say helps them most.

We will strive to align our services so that employment support, clinical care, psychological therapy, housing and other support are organised seamlessly around each person’s needs. We will address additional requirements for assistance they may have, and support efforts to overcome stigma and discrimination.

We will work sensitively with people with mental health problems so that our support builds confidence, avoids harm and responds to people’s changing needs.

Finally, we will continue to evolve the ways we support people so that fewer face the combined impact of mental distress and unemployment.

There is so much potential for psychological therapies to help people of all ages, to help people get back into work, and to help people with a whole range of different conditions – and with a wider range of therapies. So in many ways we are still only near the beginning of the journey. I want to make sure in my time as Minister that I help to take it as far as I can.
Norman Lamb MP, Minister for Care and Support
Speech to New Savoy conference 2012

Currently around 40% of people are claiming incapacity benefits because of a mental health condition. Key to addressing this is building workforce capability so that people who are on the front line have the confidence and skill to help people with mental health issues. Part of the solution is the toolkit we are launching today. It helps them spot when a jobseeker could benefit from specialist support and think about the right intervention and how to get it. I expect it could have a much wider reach.
Lord David Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform
Speech to New Savoy conference 2012


The New Savoy Declarations
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The Consensus Statement
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The Joint Pledge on Welfare
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The NSP/BPS Staff Wellbeing Charter
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Past Conferences Archive
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2018 Conference
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