Good employment is good for mental health

Blog post by Steve Smith-Trask, Managing Director, Richmond Fellowship (South)

Everyone likes to complain about work – yet employment is proven to give us many personal benefits beyond a salary. From a social network to social status, developing self-esteem to developing new skills, employment is good for us. Being out of work can increase the risks of ill health and disease, and can have a particularly negative effect on an individual’s mental health.

Yet, studies have also shown that 1 in 6 employees are currently living with mental health problems; a study by Mind shows that fewer than half of these people feel able to tell their employers. The theme for World Mental Health Day 2017 is mental health and work, a pressing issue in today’s society.

That’s why employment services are one of the five types of support we provide at Richmond Fellowship. With 28 employment services across England, whether someone needs support to find work or to retain employment, our employment advisors provide individualised support for people living with mental health problems.

What does that mean in practice?

Our employment advisors get to know the person, not the CV.

It means that we don’t have targets to meet or quotas to fill. Instead, our focus is on the individual. We work with each person who uses our service to develop a plan based on their own strengths, experiences and goals, being mindful of the mental health problems they are living with. Our employment advisors get to know the person, not the CV. We believe that people using our services can achieve their goals, and we see our role as supporting them. It’s not a tick box exercise. It’s about working together to achieve each person’s goals.

At Richmond Fellowship, we believe that good employment is good for health. What that looks like will be different for each person. We don’t make assumptions about the kind of work that would be suitable for them. For some people that may mean an entry-level job; for others, that may mean a senior management position. Part-time or full-time, permanent or contract work – we work with you to help you achieve the outcome that is right for you.

Good employment is good for health.

It’s crucial that the people who use our services guide their own experience with Richmond Fellowship and have full ownership over their action plan. To help achieve this, we have recently developed a new web app called Aspire. Created by digital production company Mindwave Ventures, Aspire is a flexible, intuitive, and easy to use online portal to help us better support people in the digital age. Aspire allows people who use our services to work collaboratively with their employment advisor to build their action plan, track the steps they are taking, and tick off goals as they are achieved. We’ve had really positive feedback from our piloting of the scheme, and are rolling out across all of our employment services soon.

At the heart of everything we do is the belief that good employment is good for mental health. Our role is to empower the people who use our services to achieve their employment goals, and live their best life.

 

Richmond Fellowship teams up with leading learning disabilities charity to promote inclusivity

Richmond Fellowship has teamed up with CHANGE, a leading learning disabilities charity, to take part in Don’t Shut Me Out! a three-year Comic Relief funded project which aims to improve inclusivity and accessibility to mental health services for people with learning disabilities.

Today, Thursday 6th July 2017, as part of its ongoing partnership work with CHANGE, Richmond Fellowship is pleased to publish a series of new easy read literature that is available to all members of the public and the individuals it currently supports across the country. Read more

Our commitment to your information

IG buttons full set horizontalInformation is something we handle a lot as a national mental health charity, a lot of this being personal and sensitive in relation to the people we support, our staff and the organisations we work with.

We know it’s really important that this is handled carefully and held securely in our systems, which is why each year we run an awareness week for our staff.

The awareness week will involve posters in our services and offices across the country, giving our staff and volunteers a handy booklet with guidance about information governance, and talking about our shared duties throughout the week to make sure everyone’s up to speed.

Information Governance is a framework which brings together legal rules, guidance and good practice to ensure that we can be trusted to handle information in a confidential and secure way. It’s something all our staff and volunteers are responsible for so we make sure they’re all informed, trained and prepared so that we can avoid any information breaches.

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Blue Monday trivialises depression

Blue SparkyNational mental health charity Richmond Fellowship has hit out against ‘Blue Monday’ for trivialising depression and other mental health problems.

Blue Monday – the third Monday in January – has become known as the most depressing day of the year in mainstream media with the day being attributed to returning to work after the Christmas break and the cold weather.

But with one in ten people living with a clinical diagnosis of depression, Richmond Fellowship, which is part of new national group Recovery Focus, is taking steps to remind people about the reality of living with a mental health problem every day of the year not just ‘Blue Monday’. Read more

Clothes bank appeal for employment service

Employment advisers Dan Watson and Abi Shaw

A national mental health charity is appealing for donations of smart clothing to help support people who don’t own suitable clothing going for job interviews in Yorkshire.

Richmond Fellowship, the national charity making mental health recovery reality, provides employment support to people living with mental health problems with the aim of finding full time – work, helping them secure volunteering opportunities or full time training.

The charity’s employment service in Kirklees and Dewsbury is now appealing for people to donate their unwanted business outfits to help clients at the service who don’t own smart clothing for a job interview.

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Challenging stigma during Men’s Health Week

Discussing mental health

Men’s mental health is a key area of campaigning for organisations like Richmond Fellowship.

Research * shows a great disparity in the ways men and women approach mental ill health or dealing with a mental health crisis with women more likely to turn to others for help or access services from their GP.

For Men’s Health Week we’re drawing attention to men who live with mental health problems.

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Charity staff sleep rough for homelessness

Grazina, Angela and Beth sleeping rough to raise awareness for homelessness

Grazina, Angela and Beth sleeping rough to raise awareness for homelessness

Richmond Fellowship staff braved the cold to sleep rough at an event in Birmingham to raise awareness of homelessness.

Recovery worker Beth Mason from Richmond Fellowship’s Brendan House supported intervention service in Cannock was joined by Grazina Berry, Director of Performance, Quality and Innovation and Angela Williams, Director of People and Organisation Development at the CEO Sleepout held at Villa Park in Birmingham, the home of Aston Villa Football club.

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Mental health charities launch Big Conversation to discuss working with people as equal partners

Richmond Fellowship is having a ‘Big Conversation’ with the people who use its services as part of plans to give individuals greater opportunity to get more actively involved in the organisation.

The newly formed group of Richmond Fellowship, 2Care, CAN, Croftlands Trust and My Time, is currently working together on a joint strategy to truly put the people supported by these organisations at the heart of what they do.

One of the group’s key commitments is to build relationships with the people who use their services where staff and people who use services work together as equal partners to design, plan and provide support together. This is called co-production.

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Richmond Fellowship Volunteer Coodinator Alison Walker tackling mental health stigma

Charity marks year of conversations tackling mental health stigma

Richmond Fellowship is marking over 1,000 conversations tackling mental health stigma in a year with an afternoon of music and entertainment in Dorset.

Richmond Fellowship, the national charity making mental health recovery a reality, teamed up with Time to Change to launch the ‘Face 2 Face’ project in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole last year.

Since then the mental health charity has smashed its target of having 1,000 conversations about mental health and is holding ‘Face 2 Face Fest’, an afternoon of music, culture and arts in Poole to celebrate.

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