March 2015

Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care and Support, has launched a national network of Autism Champions. The Champions Network forms a key strand in a national Autism Awareness campaign,“ Connect to Autism”, co-ordinated by the Autism Alliance UK and funded by the Department of Health. The five interconnecting strands are:

• A network of high-profile Autism Champions, willing to use their own ideas, experience and networks to advance the project.

We’re moving closer to the general election and inevitably it’s a time to take stock. It has been a difficult few years for services and jobseekers alike and no doubt you all have experience of how it has impacted on you and the people you support.

The ALLIANCE has launched its ‘My Skills, My Strengths, My Work’ employability campaign which has been created to help tackle some employability and work related issues that face employees and potential employees living with long term conditions. The campaign was launched in Glasgow on 10 March and speakers included Alistair Kerr, Director & Chair of BASE Scotland, and David Breslin, Motivational Speaker on Asberger’s Syndrome

A new OECD report says that health and employment services should intervene earlier, involve key stakeholders and ensure they work together in order to help people with mental-health issues find work and stay in a job. Fit Mind, Fit Job: From Evidence to Practice in Mental Health and Work says that around 30% to 40% of all sickness and disability caseloads in OECD countries are related to mental-health problems. The total cost of mental illness is estimated at around 3.5% of GDP in Europe.