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New social inclusion policies for mental health patients

2nd March 2006

The government has announced new guidance today to provide a safe environment for mental health rehabilitation.

A campaign to get those suffering from mental health problems back into work was launched in parliament, backed by health minister Rosie Winterton.

Ms Winterton published four sets of guidance for commissioners of services that are designed to reintegrate those who suffer from mental health illnesses back into society.

The guidance covers day services which focus on traditional day centre-based activities to promote social inclusion and vocational services to provide a framework for mental health service commissioners.

Direct payment guidance will also be given as currently only one third of local authorities in England are making direct payments for mental health services.

Provision for women's only day services will also be set out to provide a safe haven for women who may find it difficult to discuss their condition in a mixed environment.

"These guidance documents will be a tool to help commissioners of mental health services provide better quality care so that people who have suffered from such problems are integrated more successfully," Ms Winterton commented.

The Labour Force Survey in 2003 revealed that only 24 per cent of people with mental health problems were in paid employment.