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People with mental health problems to get more help into work

PUBLISHED: 10:00 14 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:09 14 October 2019

A generic image of workplace colleagues talking at a water cooler. Picture: Time to change/Newscast Online

A generic image of workplace colleagues talking at a water cooler. Picture: Time to change/Newscast Online

Time to change/Newscast Online

People living with mental health issues can now receive a lifeline of support to get back into work thanks to a new service.

Routes Employment Service has been launched by Norfolk and Waveney Mind which will work alongside community mental health teams around the county.

It promises to offer people in Norfolk who have been living with mental health issues and receiving secondary care support to get them back into the workplace.

Philip Eke, chief executive officer of Norfolk and Waveney Mind, said: "Employers are now in a critical position with recognising how vital mental health and wellbeing support in the workplace is.

"Routes Employment Service offers a fundamental change in how we introduce and support people into the workforce, but there's plenty that can be done from within your place of work.

"Courses and workshops can inspire, engage and equip your colleagues and managers to be more confident."

He added: "People with severe mental health problems who find paid employment show reduced symptoms, improved quality of life, and financial independence."

Mr Eke claimed that just one in 10 (9pc) of organisations across the UK have a standalone mental health policy for employees, according to statistics from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and www.mentalhealth.org.uk

"This needs to change," he added.

The Routes Employment Service has three main goals:

■To help people to gain meaningful employment and keep jobs for longer;

■Achieve twice the rate of job outcomes for people with severe mental illness versus traditional employment support;

■Deliver one to one personalised support.

Pete King, acting service manager at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We know the service will be beneficial to many of our service users who can struggle to find and maintain employment."

■Norfolk and Waveney Mind is running a new course called Finding Peace in a Frantic World, which brings mindfulness skills into the workplace.

Norfolk and Waveney Mind is offering a free taster session of this course on October 21. Email mindfulness@norfolkandwaveneymind.org.uk

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