Are you a member yet? Membership is open to all and is the first step towards accreditation.
Issued: 7 March 2016 by BABCP Board
In recent months, the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, British Psychoanalytic Council, British Psychological Society and UK Council for Psychotherapy have met with officials from the Government’s new Joint Health and Work Unit to scrutinise Government plans to help jobcentre clients who experience mental ill health.
Last year, concerns were raised in the media when the Government stated its intention to co-locate therapists in jobcentres. These concerns were principally that:
In August 2015, we took the decision to engage with the Department for Work and Pensions, to ascertain the facts and to try to scrutinise and, if necessary, to influence plans. Our priority is patient or client health and wellbeing and the need to examine the underlying socio-economic causes of people suffering from mental ill-health, rather than stigmatise people suffering from mental ill health who happened to be unemployed.
We have relayed the above concerns and more to officials based at the Department and have additionally met with staff working in a job centre evaluating the feasibility of one of the proposed Government approaches. We have asked many questions, drilling down into the minutiae of the Government plans, and advocating above all that:
We have been consistently advised that the Government has:
In addition, following our discussions, the Government has agreed to also trial a number of alternatives, such as providing jobcentre clients with access to therapy in alternative community based, non-job centre settings.
We are acutely aware of the sensitivities around this issue and will continue to engage with the Joint Work and Health Unit to critically examine their ongoing work, to ensure that the full range of potential co-location options trialled are in the best interests of clients, and that the evaluations will be thorough and robust enough to pick up on all of our areas of concern. We are particularly aware that for the Government plans to be ethical, employment must at no time be seen as a clinical outcome, staff must not be involved in coercion, and client attendance must not be mandatory.