New service helps people receiving mental health care find employment

March 16, 2020

A new employment support service launched by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) in Suffolk last year has already supported 15 people to find work.

The Integrated Employment Support Service was set up in October 2019 to help patients receiving secondary mental health care settle into employment.

Since then the team of 10 employment specialists has been working alongside clinical teams to help people set career goals, write CVs, prepare for interviews and build confidence.

Fifteen people referred to the service have now secured employment in areas including retail, administration, health and landscaping.

Funded by NHS England, the service is delivered by EPUT in partnership with Employ-Ability – a specialist employment support charity working with people experiencing mental health problems.

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.

Sharif Sharif Al-ani , employment services team leader, said:  “There is plenty of evidence to show that being in high quality work supports good mental health.

“Our employment specialists are embedded within the mental health staff teams at NSFT and work closely with them to support patients into meaningful employment. We’ve already seen incredible results.”

Raza Ahmed, service manager across Essex and Suffolk, said: “We are so pleased to bring to Suffolk what we have been doing in Essex for many years.

“We are very grateful to NSFT for hosting us and helping the team make incredible progress in these early days.”

Winsom Robotham, Service Director for the East Suffolk Care Group with NSFT, said: “This important service is giving people a valuable helping hand back into work, in turn helping to build their confidence and supporting their mental health in the longer term.

“The staff from EPUT are fully embedded with our mental health teams, which means we are able to offer an integrated service and easier referrals.

“We are really pleased that the service is already making a big difference to our service users, and look forward to it helping even more people in the future.”

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