A new service has launched across Essex today (1 July) to help people experiencing poor mental health maintain employment.
Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) and Employ-Ability have launched the Employment Retention Service in partnership with Essex County Council.
It will run alongside the partnership’s established Employment Service that helps people receiving mental health support secure employment. Employment specialists help people set career goals, write CVs, prepare for interviews and build the confidence to enter the workplace.
The Employment Retention Service is a new service for Essex; enabling people in employment but experiencing mental health difficulties to find support so they are more likely to be able to continue working.
Staff will work alongside those in need, employers, health care staff and voluntary and community organisations to ensure support is put in place as quickly as possible.
The service is open to anyone experiencing mental health difficulties and members of the public are able to self-refer.
Sally Morris, Chief Executive at EPUT, said: “EPUT and Employ-Ability have been working in partnership to successfully deliver employment services in Essex for more than a decade.
“The service was one of the first to be recognised as a ‘National Centre of Excellence’ by the Centre for Mental Health and has helped many people with mental health needs find meaningful employment.
“The new Employment Retention Service has evolved from this success and will help those in work but experiencing mental health difficulties get the support they need quickly to help them maintain employment.
“I’m so pleased that, working with our partners, we have been able to launch this service at a time that is for so many a very challenging one.”
Steve Webb, Chair of Trustees, Employ-Ability said “This is a fantastic new and exciting service to provide further Employment Support for many people needing quick and appropriate responses to their particular issues.
“This partnership between EPUT and Employ-Ability, of long standing, will continue to develop on the amazing work already done to ensure this service maintains great relationships and much needed support, for those who are most vulnerable, with, perhaps, unique issues and challenges, especially at this difficult time.”
Cllr John Spence, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health said: “I’m delighted that from 1st July we will be doing more to help our Essex residents secure and retain employment, particularly where they have mental health concerns which have been barriers in the past. The importance of employment, both in terms of its preventative wellbeing qualities and the strong role it can play in terms of recovery, cannot be overstated.
“The more we talk about mental health, and recognise when we are struggling, the more we can work towards ensuring those that need support receive it – as with any other form of ill health, no-one should be penalised for being ill.”