Nearly a third of welfare recipients undergo psychological treatment

secretary of state Klijnsma
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A massive 31 percent of people who receive welfare benefits in the Netherlands are also receiving psychological treatment, according to a study by Statistics Netherlands and Harvard University. Among people who work or go to school, 10 percent undergo psychological treatment, NOS reports.

The researchers defined psychiatric treatment as mental health care and the use of medicines due to psychological complaints. This is the first time that data about psychological treatment was linked to the workforce. According to the researchers, people on welfare benefits account for 58 percent of mental health care costs.

The study was done on behalf of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. State Secretary Jetta Klijnsma wants municipalities, national mental health care institute GGZ and benefits agency UWV to work more closely together to reduce the percentage of welfare recipients undergoing psychological treatment, according to NOS. She made 3.5 million euros available over two years for this purpose.

"Collaboration between these agencies and employers is crucial to guide people with mental illness to work", Klijnsma said to the broadcaster. According to her, people with psychiatric problems have the most trouble in finding work, while work can contribute to mental health. 

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