£1million NHS cash for Suffolk to help people with severe mental ill health find jobs
- Credit: Archant
A new team is to be brought into Suffolk to help people with severe mental ill health find work thanks to a £1million NHS grant.
Ipswich GP Dr John Hague, who is mental health lead for the shadow new Individual Placement and Support (ICS) group in Suffolk, said: "Securing regular and stable employment is one of the best ways of improving someone's happiness and can assist in overcoming mental ill health."
So the new group will see a team of employment specialists, working with clinicians, search for jobs for those with mental ill health and talk to employers directly on behalf of patients.
A similar service in north-east Essex has already been shown to be successful, with more than a third receiving ICS support finding work - compared to about one in 10 of people without that additional help.
Dr Hague added: "Expanding this service so that people in Suffolk can have access to this support is fantastic."
He added that getting people with mental ill health into work "allows people to meet and work with other people and gives back a sense of purpose", adding: "In addition, there are of course benefits that it will bring to the local economy too."
Suffolk Mind has also praised the introduction of the scheme, with service development manager Kobe Borich saying: "We think it's positive that there are more services in Suffolk looking to support people to gain employment in order to improve their wellbeing."
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He added that the mental health charity had started its own Suffolk Work Well service in February to help people into employment, saying it "immediately found that it was a much needed service in the Ipswich and Felixstowe areas".
Michelle Grant-Richardson, mental health programme manager for the shadow ICS, said: "IPS already exists across north-east Essex, where employment specialists offer coaching and advice as well as practical tips on finding a job and preparing for interviews.
"This new service for Suffolk will replicate that model."
Patients hoping to get back into work can be referred directly by their doctor or another mental health professional, and can also self-refer.