A service which helps people with mental health conditions get back into the workplace is marking its first anniversary having helped around a third of its users find a job.
Since it was formed, the Individual Placement and Support Service (IPS) has helped more than 100 people, with 35 people returning to paid employment.
IPS was set up as a two-year pilot scheme by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and is part of a national programme open to anyone over the age of 18 who is receiving support from the trust’s adult mental health teams.
Service lead Ellie Freeman said: “We are delighted with the progress we have made over the last year.
“One in four people are affected by mental health issues during their lifetime, and many of those people can continue in their usual job roles. But for others, who become unemployed because of their condition or who have lost their job which then adds to their mental health concerns, it can be a really difficult time.”
She said: “Having a job, being around other people, having structure and routine, and feeling valued is a vital part of people’s recovery.”
Under the scheme employment specialists work with clients to find out what kind of jobs they would like, and help them with everything from writing CVs and applications to helping them to prepare for interviews.
Kevin, who lives in Cambridgeshire and who has been helped by the service, said: “The team was great. I have had long-term mental health issues but I was really keen to get back to work.
“They spoke to me and helped identify what kind of job I wanted, and they helped me with my CV and my applications.”
Kevin said: “I was really pleased to be offered a new job – it was good for my confidence, but I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to disclose my medical history with my new employer. I spoke to my employment specialist and it was good to hear that I didn’t have to.
“I would recommend the service to anyone. Work is really therapeutic and gives me a sense of purpose.”
People can find out more about the Individual Placement and Support Service via their care co-ordinator or key worker and further details are on the Trust website.
Companies in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough that want to find out more about working with the IPS service can contact IPSReferrals@cpft.nhs.uk.