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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5O-00856: Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 22 March 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of how mental health can be affected by unemployment.

Answered by: Maureen Watt 30 March 2017

We recognise that there is strong and well established evidence on the impact that unemployment can have on the mental health of those affected. Employment is important to people, not just in providing an income to live on, but also helps to give an individual a sense of worth and a social context.

Mental health and wellbeing can decline with prolonged unemployment and make return to work more difficult. Unemployment can also exacerbate underlying mental health conditions, again presenting challenges to return to work.

Our newly devolved employment programmes, which begin in April this year, will offer access to support including skills, training and help with physical and mental health conditions. We are aiming to reach those who are harder to help, to meet their needs and help them achieve sustained employment which we know can help improve health and wellbeing, as well as income levels.