Doing things which are enjoyable, which mean something to the individual and which provide social interaction enhances well-being and promotes good mental and physical health. Therefore, taking part in activities which are identified by the individual as meaningful to them plays an important part in the Recovery journey. At Mersey Care NHS Trust the Vocational Support Steering Group is working hard to ensure that all our service users have access to such ‘meaningful occupation’. The group is co-producing a vocational strategy which will outline pathways to meaningful occupation for services users such as volunteering, training and education and paid employment. The group is led by the Vocational Services Manager, Caroline Thorpe and you can find out more by contacting her on:
email@example.com or 0151 473 2991
Why paid work?
The benefits of work on physical and mental health are well documented; there is strong evidence that work:
Yet in 2013-14 only 7.1% of people using secondary mental health services were in paid employment. (Department of Health. (2014) Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework)
We know that employment and meaningful occupation are an integral part of recovery. Research and practice has shown that given the right support the vast majority of people with a mental illness can take up and sustain employment. The model of employment support with overwhelming international evidence is the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model. More information on the IPS model can be found in ‘Doing What Works’ (Centre for Mental Health, 2009)
and on the Centre for Mental Health website at:
Individual Placement and Support (IPS)
Mersey Care provides IPS services for adult mental health service users in Liverpool and Sefton. In Liverpool this is Network Employment and in Sefton, Imagine Employment Service. Both services have achieved high levels of fidelity to IPS in independent reviews by the Centre for Mental Health and are part of the Centre of Excellence programme. High fidelity means that the service adheres closely to the main principles of IPS and is therefore more effective, the IPS principles are:
If you are a service user (or care for someone who uses services) and want to find out more about options regarding returning to employment and how these services can help you to get back to work you can:
For Liverpool contact
Sarah Harris, Employment Specialist, Network Employment, 0151 330 8700, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For Sefton contact
Olga Snell, Employment Services Manager, Imagine Mental Health, 07816 131 691, email email@example.com
Mental health problems at work are common, at any one time 1 in 6 of us can be suffering from common mental health problems such as anxiety, depression or stress. This costs businesses in terms of sickness absence, reduced productivity (presenteeism) and staff turnover. It is estimated that sickness absence due to mental health problems accounts for 40% of all sickness absence and overall costs for all 3 areas are estimated at £1035 per annum per employee. (Centre for Mental Health, Mental Health at Work: Developing the Business Case, 2007).
Our IPS services work with local employers to help them address these challenges and recruit and retain valuable staff. Experienced Employment Advisors can:
Employing a diverse workforce makes good business sense – you recruit from a wider talent pool and gain positive marketing and publicity. Employing individuals who are supported by an IPS service means you have access to expert advice and support to ensure as an employer you can demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility which benefits you and your employees.
If you are an employer and would like to find out more about how Mersey Care can help you please contact Caroline Thorpe, Vocational Services Manager,
Tel: 0151 473 2991