- A £122m payment for the service will give those receiving mental health support the opportunity to speak to employment counsellors
- Employment counselors and therapists will work together so that a person can return or find work easier and faster – leading to economic growth
Across England, people with common mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression will have access to an employment counselor thanks to new government funding.
£122m is being invested to launch a vital service from NHS England nationwide, to provide those receiving mental health support with employment advice to help them stay in work or return to the labor market faster, with the right support in the right place.
The service brings therapists and employment counselors together to help people with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression find work that is tailored to them. With strong evidence that work improves mental health, supporting more people at work will not only fuel a thriving job market, but also increase individual prosperity.
Continuing support to help individuals focus and advance in their careers will in turn help the economy grow.
Secretary of State at the Department of Work and Pensions, Chloe Smith, said:
On World Mental Health Day, it’s important to recognize the virtuous link between health and work – we know that giving people the support they need to work is very good for their long-term health.
The government’s growth-focused agenda will provide jobs, higher wages and greater opportunities – and I am glad that people who have faced barriers to entering the labor market due to poor mental health will now be able to access support across England.
Helping people access both clinical support for their mental health as well as employment advice gives them the tools they need to enter or return to work. This is vital to help reduce inactivity and grow our economy so that we can provide more money and support for public services like this.
Minister of Health and Social Welfare and Deputy Prime Minister, Therese Coffey, said:
The good physical health and mental well-being of the nation is also good for the economic health of the nation and this government is committed to supporting those who are not working due to ill health.
Giving people who receive mental health support access to an employment counselor will help them start, stay, and succeed at work – improving their well-being and resilience as well as growing our economy.
Claire Murdoch, NHS director of national mental health, said:
The NHS is committed to continuing to do its part to support those with mental health issues who want to work, and providing employment advice from experienced counselors through our Talking Therapies across the country is a fascinating and important development, particularly in times of economic challenges and growing need. To support mental health.
We know that working at work has many benefits for our mental health and well-being, from increasing our sense of purpose to providing an orderly routine, and while thousands of people already benefit from this ground-breaking service, this nationwide reach means everything people with anxiety and depression will be able to Access to both a regular NHS Talking Therapies offer, through your GP or register online at their local service, and specialist employment advice, in all regions of the country.
Referral to improve access to psychological therapies (IAP), often referred to as ‘NHS talking therapies’ services, can be through a GP, healthcare professional or through self-referral. Use IAP Services and participation in psychotherapy and employment support are purely voluntary.
Therapists and employment advisors in NHS England are already working together in 40% of the country. During the three-year spending review period, the service will be extended nationally by hiring and training approximately 700 recruitment consultants so that up to 100,000 people can receive the combined offer each year from 2024 to 2025, and receive support to start, survive and succeed in business .
The service is already fully operational in Cheshire and The Wirral, providing people with the support to get back on their feet and get back to work. Career counselors provide affectionate support to those who have been through really tough times.
Testimonials – Recommendations:
After his wife died and he assumed the responsibilities of caring for his two children, Peter had been out of work due to grief and stress for two years. After using his local speaking therapies, Peter referred himself to employment counselors, working with his employment counselor to find roles that could be managed through his child care commitments and helping him tap into the social aspects of returning to work. To prepare him for job interviews and build his confidence, the recruitment consultant helped Peter complete interview training and gave him guidance on returning to work after a long absence. With the support of his recruitment advisor, Peter is now working in a flexible part-time job as a salesman and delivery driver and is excited that he is working in a role that fits his lifestyle.
Carol was absent from work for two years, taking care of her parents until their deaths. Carol suffered from anxiety because of this and went to speech therapies for help. After this period, Carol felt that employment would help her with her self-confidence. Carol worked with her employment advisor to improve her resume, enhance her job search skills and build her self-confidence. The employment counselor also helped hone Carol’s interview skills, alleviating her anxiety and supporting her to be successful in a job interview for a care home. Once the job was offered, Carol was supported with instructions about returning to work after an extended period of absence. She has now completed her nursing home training, and through the support she received, her life has changed dramatically for the better.
*Not their real names
- IAP The services were first launched in 2008. IAP Services provide psychotherapy for people with depression and anxiety to help them recover from and improve self-management of their common mental health condition.
- agencies in IAP It is a voluntary service that enables those who request it to access combined psychotherapy and employment support to help them stay in, return to or find work and improve their mental health.
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