The NHS has helped through the COVID pandemic with its plan to help thousands of people with mental health problems get back into employment.
Healthcare has employed over 4,000 people in a range of roles including retail and digital marketing through its long-term plan over the past 12 months.
People with bipolar, major depression or personality disorder are referred to their mental health team to the NHS Individual Placement and Support Scheme (IPS), where they are directed back into employment.
The scheme was launched in 2018, and is based on more than 20 years of research and has been recognized as the most effective way for people with mental health problems to achieve and retain work.
As well as helping people return to the working world, it has also helped prepare 10,000 people for employment by writing CVs, setting career goals, and guiding them through job applications.
The COVID pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental well-being of people across the UK over the past 18 months, with many people losing jobs over the course of time.
The NHS said it recognized that stable employment played a huge role in maintaining good mental health, including reducing anxiety.
Its national director of mental health, Claire Murdoch, said: “Despite the huge impact the pandemic has had on our lives, the NHS has been able to help employ more than 4,000 people with mental health problems.
“While we know that NHS care and treatment are important, so are the benefits that employment can have – it can boost confidence and reduce anxiety [as stories show].
“Often a service user with a mental health condition, perhaps struggling with their symptoms and isolating at home, wants to work.
“Helping someone do a job they really enjoy, giving them a reason to get up in the morning allows them to be able to better manage their symptoms.”
The NHS committed to helping thousands of patients through the IPS scheme by 2023, including Stephen of Bradford, who had been unemployed for 15 years.
Through the IPS scheme, the 48-year-old is now working in a role as a shop assistant at a major retail store that has made her “feel a lot more confident”.
The program has been welcomed by mental health charities, such as MIND, which say it encourages looking at the disability employment gap.
Chief Executive Paul Farmer said: “We know the disability employment gap is still very wide and that for many people with mental health problems, getting work done and staying well is important. That’s why the NHS needs to support the well-being of so many people. It’s exciting to see the job come through.
“It is clear how much can be achieved when people with serious mental illnesses are paired with the right employers, especially if helping them stay employed and grow with support for their mental health.
“We know delivering this service was a casualty of the pandemic, so it is important that more trusts re-introduce the Individual Placement Assistance Scheme as they recover, and the NHS to help thousands more through this.” Reaches his goal for the people.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /