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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.

 

Peterborough mental health employment service grows

Employment 2A national mental health charity is hosting an open day to celebrate the success of its employment services as they move into a new venue.

Richmond Fellowship, part of Recovery Focus, operates an employment service in Peterborough which is hoping to increase the number of people living with mental health problems it supports through moving to a new site. Read more

Bristol employment service rewarded for excellence

bmh_employmentOur Bristol based employment service has gone above and beyond in supporting people with mental health problems to stay in work as well as supporting job seekers.

The Bristol Mental Health Employment Service (BMHES) provides employment services to people living with mental health problems.

In the last six months of 2015, the NHS commissioned service doubled the number of people they’d supported into competitive work whilst maintaining a quick response to all new users of the service. Read more

Old Moat community garden centre outlines expansion plans

The Old Moat - GreenhouseOur community garden centre that supports people living with mental health problems in Surrey is set to unveil its expansion plans.

The Old Moat Garden Centre in Epsom has set its sights on expansion in order to make the enterprise self sustaining following a reduction in funding from the NHS.

The Old Moat has operated in Epsom since 2008 and offers people living with mental health problems employment and training opportunities where they play an active role in the management and operation of the successful site.

Read more

Positive Future for mental health in Havering

Positive Future open day

Positive Future, a community based mental health support service in Havering, enjoyed a very successful opening day as they celebrated a new approach to mental health support.

The service, operated by Richmond Fellowship the national charity making mental health recovery reality, had previously focussed solely on employment support for people who were out of work due to experiencing mental health problems.

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Cambridge woman runs marathon for mental health

Julia prepares for the London Marathon

Julia prepares for the London Marathon

A Cambridge woman completed her first ever London marathon to raise money and awareness for Richmond Fellowship after the charity helped her husband get back on his feet after a vicious mugging left him with severe anxiety.

Julia DeCesare ran the London Marathon to raise money and awareness for mental health charity Richmond Fellowship who helped provide practical and emotional support to her husband Andrew in a time of crisis.

Richmond Fellowship work to make mental health recovery reality for people with mental health problems and operate over 120 services throughout the country.

Read more