10/11/2011

Mental Health Issues No Workforce Barrier

People with mental health issues are making a significant contribution to the workforce.

Far from being any burden, the Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, has highlighted the significant contribution that those with mental health issues make to Northern Ireland's workforce.

The Minister was speaking as he addressed an Action Mental Health (AMH) seminar, entitled Working for Mental Health 'Providing opportunities for employment'.

The event provided the platform to look at positive ways of collaborating with the wider private/public sector to further maximise employment opportunities for those people with disabilities.

The Minister said: "With the right support, people with mental health conditions are able to make a significant contribution to Northern Ireland's workforce.

"Not only do they play their part in the wider economy, but through meaningful and fulfilling employment, individuals can enhance the quality of their lives on all levels, including their physical and mental health.

"For those suffering from mental health problems, learning new skills and engaging with the employment market can have a positive effect on their own confidence and self-esteem," he added.

The Alliance party Minister went on to pay tribute to the work of AMH: "The support given by AMH to those with mental health conditions and learning disabilities is invaluable.

"My Department has a long and established working relationship with AMH and by continuing to work together to deliver a range of successful training programmes and initiatives, we can ensure that those afflicted by mental illness are given the opportunity to maximise their potential."

The Minister concluded: "My Department will continue to support people with mental health issues to find and sustain employment and help those affected to enjoy the social, financial and health benefits of work."

(BMcC/GK)

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