Local people will now benefit from a new service provided by South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust. The aim of the service is to help people with mental health problems gain or retain employment.
The vocational team, which is made up of four occupational therapists, offers practical support and works alongside people with experience of mental health issues, helping them gain the skills, experience and confidence necessary to secure a job.
Research shows that work is very good for people’s mental health, so long as the experience is positive and meaningful. There are many benefits of being in paid employment. It can improve a person’s economic standing, help them feel more valued in society and open up a social network.
As well as helping people get back to work, the vocational team also supports people already in full time work, who due to mental health problems, may be at risk of losing their job.
The vocational team works closely with and takes referrals from other teams across South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust. The team also works with partnership organisations who can offer people who use the service further help and support.
One of the team members, occupational therapist Ursula Huxley said "We are here to open doors for people and support them in their goal of gaining or maintaining employment. We help people to manage their symptoms, build self esteem and confidence and increase their social function to enable them to pursue things like volunteering, work experience, education and training. Above all it is our responsibility to help people back into productive and meaningful lifestyles."