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MIND urges caution with compulsion plans

24th January 2006

Forcing people with mental health problems to remain in employment will only backfire on the government, warned a policy advisor from MIND.

Responding to new proposals which are expected to contain guidelines on getting people back into the workplace and reforming the incapacity benefit system, Sophie Corlett called for a sensitive approach.

Ms Corlett urged the government not to put too much pressure on those suffering from a mental health illness, warning that it could have a negative impact in the long-term.

"The last thing we would do is put more pressure on them… We would never pressurise anyone with mental health to do anything," she explained to BBC Two's Newsnight.

"One of our concerns, particularly for people with mental distress is that once you introduce sanctions you are actually increasing people's distress."

Other mental health advisors have also stressed the importance of limiting the pressure put on people and avoiding any feelings of compulsion.

"If you take somebody who is not really that well, they feel pressure to take a job and then when they are in that job it does not work, I think their health is going to deteriorate," Ms Corlett added.