Local people in Calderdale using mental health services are set to benefit from additional support to find paid work after our Trust was awarded funding to recruit employment specialists.
The Trust was successful in its bid for funding from NHS England for the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) scheme, and will be recruiting employment specialists and an IPS team leader for the core and enhanced teams in Calderdale.
Service users who want paid work can be referred directly by their doctor or another mental health professional, and can also self-refer.
Employment specialists find suitable jobs matched to a person’s skills and interests, offer coaching around finding a job and preparing for interviews whilst providing tailored ongoing support when the person is in work. They can also speak to employers directly alongside the service user to identify well-suited roles – acting as a crucial link between patient, their employer and their clinical team.
Service users can access the trained specialists at any time. They will work in teams with psychologists, mental health nurses, occupational therapists and other health professionals and can speak to potential employers about how best to support people so that they can work effectively while staying in good health.
The IPS team will work closely with the existing Calderdale vocational team who currently work with people who have aspirations around paid work, work retention, work placements, volunteering, education and training.
Amanda Mckenzie, vocational team leader at the Trust, said: “This is about working with people’s own choices and strengths to find the right employment for them. Working with employers is central to the role along with the practical side of building a CV, job searching, preparing for interviews and providing ongoing in-work support. The employment advisor will be a key link between the service user, their employer and mental health team and help to maintain work and good health.
“We will be offering IPS awareness sessions for staff in community teams and working closely with the Council, Department of Work and Pensions, local partners and employers to build on our existing networks. This is a brilliant opportunity to help more people into work and to promote the benefits of positive mental health support to employers.”