Charity slammed for job ad requiring applicants to not be accessing mental health support
A job advertisement for a Peer Support Worker has been condemned as unethical and potentially illegal for requiring applicants to ‘not currently have direct engagement with mental health or secondary support services’.
Twitter users have criticised a mental health charity for a job ad which required applicants to not be currently engaging with mental health or other support services.
The advertisement for a Peer Support Worker role at charity Mental Health Matters listed under the ‘Personal’ section that applicants should be “flexible”, “resilient”, and “not currently having direct engagement with mental health/other secondary support services”. The advert added that applicants should have a gap of at least 2 years since their most recent engagement with mental health services.
Commentators have labelled the advert “unethical”, “possibly illegal” and pointed out the irony in the role requiring applicants to have lived experience of a mental health issue to use therapeutically in their work with service users.
The job advertisement has since been taken down and Mental Health Matters has apologised, saying the clause in the job description was incorrect and “had been uploaded in error.”
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention,” the charity replied to a tweet sharing an image of the clause, adding: “We have taken it down immediately and will investigate how this has happened.”
Critics were quick to point out, however, that a similar issue had come to light in July last year with a job description containing identical wording.
Mental Health Matters later issued a further statement, saying: “We sincerely apologise for any distress caused by an old attachment from a few years ago being uploaded today. We want to assure you that we took immediate action at the time as soon as we became aware of the issue last year.”
“When this job description was originally developed, we had failed to consult those with lived experience, and we recognise that that was a mistake. We are genuinely grateful for the feedback that was received, as it allowed us to rectify our approach.
“We have a number of Peer Support Workers with diverse lived experience of accessing mental health services. Their contributions greatly enhance our organisation, both in terms of the support we can offer and will continue to shape our overall approach.
“We understand how important it is to ensure accurate information is provided and we understand how disappointing it was to have encountered the same issue again. We will be investigating how this was uploaded and will ensure this does not happen again.”
Many on social media were still unhappy with the charity’s response, with some pointing out that the error has coincided with Mental Health Awareness Week, which began on Monday.
“It shouldn’t take consultation with people lived experience to know not to be discriminatory. Do you have an HR department? Unfortunately it really isn’t good enough,” one user commented.
“As a previous MHSW I’m shocked that it’s your charity advocating such a discriminatory practice towards applicants living with mental health issues. This requires more than an apology. It requires going back to basics for that project lead & relevant HR on MH AND equality,” said another.
£38,223 to £40,221
Most popular articles today