Department for Work and Pensions
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National launch of DWP public information film to tackle mental health discrimination in the workplace

National launch of DWP public information film to tackle mental health discrimination in the workplace

DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS News Release (Reference EMP-082) issued by The Government News Network on 5 June 2008

A public information film designed to challenge employer assumptions about mental health is launched today.

The film - directed by Bharat Nalluri, director of TV dramas Hustle, Spooks and Life on Mars, and including a voiceover by actor Philip Glenister from Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes - will air across national television over the coming months.

Anne McGuire, Minister for Disabled People said: "This thought provoking film encourages employers to look past any pre-conceptions they may make about disability so they do not lose out on recruiting the right candidates that will help their business to thrive."

The film is set in a busy hospital ward and asks the viewer whether they would employ someone who had mental health issues. It then reveals that Florence Nightingale had a history of mental illness, but despite this made a phenomenal contribution to British medicine.

The film complements wider DWP initiatives to prevent discrimination against disabled people in the workplace and ensure greater opportunities for disabled people to get into work. Employers are already being encouraged to take a more open minded approach to recruitment as part of the Employ ability campaign.

Employ ability is being widely rolled out, with regional roadshows. Employ ability has so far visited the West Midlands, South Yorkshire, North West and North East and is due to go to the South East, East Midlands, Scotland, Wales, South West and East of England later in the year. Roadshow activities include workshops, ministerial breakfast events and information packs for local employers. This is supported by extensive advertising including billboard posters, newspaper adverts and a high profile front and back cover of the free Metro publication.

Initial feedback received from employers has been positive with them stating that the campaign has challenged their attitudes and assumptions and would encourage them to recruit more disabled people and those with long-term health conditions.

Website http://www.dwp.gov.uk

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