Employment support service helps more than 80 people find work

January 4, 2021

A new employment support service launched by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) in Suffolk has helped more than 80 people find work in its first year.

The Integrated Employment Service, delivered in partnership with charity Employ-Ability, helps people who have been receiving secondary mental health care settle into paid employment.

Since launching in October 2019, the team of 10 employment specialists has supported 300 people and helped 81 secure employment in areas including retail, health, construction, customer service and administration.

Dr Milind Karale, Executive Medical Director at EPUT, said: “We are delighted that this vital service has had such a significant impact during its first year.

“There is plenty of evidence to show that being in high quality work supports good mental health. Our specialists help people achieve that goal which in turn has a positive knock-on effect on their mental health, confidence and self-esteem.”

The service, funded by NHS England, helps people set career goals, build confidence and develop effective job seeking and interview skills. It also provides ongoing support once service users are in employment.

EPUT was invited to run the service in Suffolk by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) following the success of its Essex-based service.
The Integrated Employment Support Service was launched in Essex in 2011 and has been recognised as a national centre of excellence by the Centre for Mental Health.

Alice was supported by the service and is now in paid employment as a support worker. She said: “When I found out about the service, I was hopeful but sceptical about actually achieving employment but I learned so much with the support of my employment specialist. It was as though I was getting to know myself again after much time away.

“Now I am proud to say that I am a support worker and happy to be living the life that I am.”

Jonathan Warren, Chief Executive of NSFT, said: “Good employment is often a very significant factor in supporting good mental health at any time but especially so during such a challenging period. I am really pleased to support this excellent initiative in Suffolk.”

Anyone who would like further information about the Integrated Employment Support Service should email epunft.employmentservices@nhs.net