Many employment initiatives, which focus on supporting people with mental health needs recognise the benefit that work and meaningful activity can have for a person’s mental health and wellbeing. Working in partnership with government work programmes, the voluntary and community sector has developed services that have succeeded in creating accessible support for people with mental health conditions to get back into work.
Read some of the case studies from our member organisations, which include IAPT services delivered by mcch, the Individual Placement and Support model delivered by Imagine Independence, and the clubhouse and community support models delivered by Mosaic Clubhouse, below.
mcch is a voluntary sector organisation offering employment support in partnership with the local IAPT services across Kent. The service embodies the principles of a useful employment support resource by training support staff to provide mental health assessment and counselling support alongside employment advice. The IAPT service provides CBT to address any mental health problems whilst mcch’s workplace support liaises between the IAPT service, employer and individual to build confidence in getting support. The service also recognises the need for continued support once a person has found or returned to employment. A return to work plan is created with the service-user, which agrees and sets out the level of support according to a person’s needs.
Imagine Independence was one of the 14 centres of excellence identified by the Centre for Mental Health to exemplar the implementation of the IPS model. There was an important focus on partnership working to offer the most effective support for people to get paid work. Imagine employed Employment Advisors to work with people to identify their preferred job role and develop an action plan for how to get there. Using relationships with local organisations and private employers, work placements are created to offer opportunities and people are provided with CV and application support and interview preparation. Courses are also provided to help build confidence and bring people together to share experiences.
Mosaic Clubhouse works in partnership with both the council and local Mind to ensure a range of services are available to members of their community. The opportunities available support people who have been socially or vocationally disadvantaged by mental ill health to regain confidence and skills. Part of their employment service provides one to one support, including searching for jobs, preparation and interview skills. The service takes into consideration any interests and strengths demonstrated within clubhouse activity. The unit also oversees the Transitional Employment Programme, which provides the opportunity for members to re-enter the workforce with support.
Transition support services are an important part in helping people understand any changes to their financial support and the wider implications of starting work. It is also a model, which highlights the need for good partnership working across employment, health and social services, to ensure that people can access the most appropriate service for their needs.