Scope responds to Prime Ministers speech on mental health support and employment

Posted On: 
9th January 2017

Mark Atkinson, Chief Executive at disability charity Scope, today welcomes the government's announcement of additional support for those in the work place with mental health issues but warns against ignoring the voices of disabled people.

"It’s positive that the Prime Minister has recognised the urgent need to address the challenges those with mental health issues face,  yet her speech failed to mention the wider challenges that disabled people face every day at work in and their communities. There are 12.9 million disabled people in the UK and the Prime Minister must ensure that when setting out a vision of a ‘shared society’ their voices are not ignored.  
Stigma and negative attitudes mean disabled people, as well as those with mental health problems, face barriers both in and out of work. Disabled people are twice as likely to be unemployed and 85 per cent of disabled people say workplace attitudes haven't improved in the last four years.
If the Prime Minister is serious about achieving her aim of a 'shared society', the welcome approach she set out today for mental health must extend to tackle the barriers disabled people face in everyday life. Disabled people's voices need to be heard and we need to see a strategy for radical reform, particularly of employment support and workplace practices to improve the life opportunities of disabled people.”