Psychological Wellbeing and Work

Year of Publication: 

The Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health jointly commissioned RAND Europe to investigate these issues by reviewing existing evidence, consulting stakeholders and conducting an economic analysis. The project addressed the following central question:

What is the best approach to improve employment outcomes for people with common mental health problems (both diagnosed and undiagnosed)?

We identified several challenges in current provision of public services for people with common mental health problems that aim to support them in employment. We found that services are often not joined up because they tackle either the mental health problem or the employment need as a discrete issue; and they are often delayed, even though the original problems can deteriorate over time.

The study developed a longlist of policy options for the Government to consider. These options include workplace interventions, influencing the behaviour of key gatekeepers, improving assessments of employment and wellbeing needs of people with common mental health problems, building up employment advice in current programmes, and more. We concluded that the Government should pilot four shortlisted and complementary options that: provide early access to specialist services; address both employment and mental health needs; introduce more integration between current services; or propose new applications of existing evidence-based models. Testing these innovative approaches would contribute to building a much-needed evidence base on better ways to support people with common mental health problems.