Over 45 people experiencing mental health difficulties have been supported to find work with 12 individuals securing job offers thanks to Kirklees individual placement and support (IPS) service.
The service has been supporting people accessing secondary mental health services to find paid employment in real work settings since May 2022, offering help with meeting prospective employers, job searching, application support, interview skills and ongoing in-work support for them and their employer.
Employment specialists within the team work closely with people to explore their interests, skills and strengths to set employment goals and job seeking action plans.
Jane* was referred to the service in July 2022. Her background was in manufacturing, and her long-term goal was to become a police officer.
With Jane’s consent, the employment specialist from the team contacted local employers on her behalf, and identified a small manufacturing business. Jane visited the business to meet with the employer, supported by her employment specialist. Two weeks later, she was offered a role.
Jane said: “I expected it to be a long process and I was pleased that it was very quick and not at all scary! The support has been very good with things like my CV. I didn’t feel like I had to write it all myself.
“Working feels good. I like knowing that I only have to work 3 days and then can have a good work-life balance. My job is varied enough to be interesting and is a calm working environment.
“Working gives me less time to think and dwell. It gives me a purpose to my day and life rather than just existing. I would recommend the IPS service to anyone.”
Jane continues to receive regular contact from the IPS service as part of her in-work support plan, and is working towards her long-term goal when the next round of police recruitment begins.
John* was also supported to find work by the service. He said: “The IPS employment specialist has been awesome. They have provided encouragement, spoken to employers on my behalf and arranged work trials and practical interviews.
“I think working keeps you busy and your brain active. I am making long-term plans to save my earnings for driving lessons.
“I’d tell other people to go for it – if you want to work, work! The employment specialist can help you achieve that.”
IPS service manager Richard Bates said: “We believe that everyone is capable of working if the right type of work and environment is found and the right kind of support is provided. We work closely with the person to offer an individualised and bespoke service, and we’re really proud of the meaningful support we have been able to offer since our launch.”
The Trust also offers individual placement and support services in Calderdale and Wakefield. Find out more about the Kirklees individual placement and support service on our website.
*Names have been changed.