Helping people with mental health needs back into paid employment red
The employment support service team

People with mental health needs receive help to return to work

PEOPLE in Somerset being cared for by community mental health teams are getting additional support to get back into paid work.

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust’s (FT) employment support service follows an individual placement and support (IPS) model – an evidence-based programme that aims to help people with severe mental health conditions find and retain paid employment.

Jo Moore, Somerset FT’s clinical lead for the service, said that employment should be seen as part of the process of getting better, rather than as a result of getting better.

She said: “There are so many benefits for people with severe mental health conditions finding paid employment.

“These include improved confidence and self-esteem, having a valued role, meeting people, improved physical health, improved motivation and energy, a sense of achievement and financial stability.

Really positive

“And the impact on their mental health and local health and social care community is also really positive as research shows that when people are employed, they will be less likely to need to access GP or hospital treatment regarding their mental health.

“There is sometimes an assumption that people are ‘better off on benefits than working’ but this is often not the case on closer examination. We support our clients to access financial and benefits information including a ‘Better Off In Work Calculation’ so they can make informed decisions about potential work-life balance.

“Our service isn’t about forcing or persuading people to consider paid work as those who we help must want to work. Even if the person isn’t ‘job ready’ yet we will help them by working alongside their care and therapy teams as part of their recovery.”

 

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