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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.

 

Mental health worker celebrates thesis publication

Roisin Vahey celebrates at graduation ceremony

A mental health support worker in Kent is celebrating after her thesis was published in The International Journal of Psychology and Physiological Therapy, a leading medical journal.

Roisin Vahey, a support worker from Zimbabwe, works for Richmond Fellowship, the national charity making mental health recovery reality, and is using her degree knowledge to help support people in the area living with mental health problems.

Her thesis, entitled Galvanic Skin Response in Mood Disorders: A Critical Review, explores the impact of Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), a process that measures variations in the electrical characteristics of the skin, with specific reference to individuals with mood disorders such as depression.

Roisin hopes that her research will lead to development of GSR as an effective assessment tool of efficacy for different therapies and treatments for people living with mental health problems.

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Wakefield mental health service marks 10 years of success

Staff and service users past and present celebrate a decade of making recovery reality

Staff and service users past and present celebrate a decade of making recovery reality

A charity mental health support service in Wakefield is celebrating ten years of making recovery reality and reducing mental health stigma with an event on Tuesday, 5 May.

Woodside supported housing, a scheme run by Richmond Fellowship, the national mental charity, has been helping people on their recovery journey for ten years.

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Charity scheme tackles mental health and homelessness

People living with mental health problems are increasingly becoming homeless

People living with mental health problems are increasingly becoming homeless

A national mental health charity is launching a new service alongside Wiltshire Council to prevent people with mental health issues in Wiltshire becoming homeless.

The Community Housing Support Service is a joint project between Richmond Fellowship, the national charity making mental health recovery a reality, and Wiltshire Council with the aim of preventing people with mental health issues losing their homes.

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Richmond Fellowship narrowly misses out on crisis award

National Alliance of Voluntary Sector Mental Health Providers

National Alliance of Voluntary Sector Mental Health Providers

Richmond Fellowship’s crisis care services narrowly missed out on a national award following the launch of services in Leicestershire and West Sussex.

The Mental Health Provider’s Forum (MHPF) voluntary sector awards recognise achievement across the mental health sector and Richmond Fellowship’s Crisis services were shortlisted in the crisis care category.

Christine Lawrence, locality manager for Richmond Fellowship in Leicestershire attended the awards lunch today to represent us.

She said: “We’re obviously disappointed to miss out on the award. To even be nominated for such a prestigious award shows how well our crisis services have been doing and the importance of this support.”

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