A SCHEME which aims to get people with mental health problems back to work has won the backing of the Prime Minister.
After NHS England announced a major expansion of its Individual Placement and Support Scheme yesterday, Theresa May said: “Helping those with mental ill health back into work is one of the best ways to ensure their health and happiness in the long term.
Getty – Contributor Theresa May said the NHS project for people with mental health problems is ‘another important step forward’
“This scheme is another important step forward in achieving that goal. The Government is working hard to ensure genuine parity of esteem between physical and mental health conditions, and our Long Term Plan will make the NHS a world leader in the care and support we provide to those who need it.”
NHS England said its IPS scheme will be rolled out to another 28 local NHS areas and will soon be available in eight in ten areas across England.
Access is expected to double to 20,000 by 2020/21 and those figures will continue to grow every year.
By 2023/24, it is expected to help 55,000 a year.
Patients hoping to get back into work can be referred by their doctor or another mental health specialist, or they can self-refer, to employment specialists who will offer coaching and advice.
They will also offer practical advice on finding a job and tips on how to prepare for interviews.
Patients can call trained specialists at any time, and these specialists work alongside psychologists and mental health nurses to ensure people can work effectively while remaining in good health.
‘THE RIGHT TO DIGNITY AND RESPECT’
Mental health minister Jackie Doyle-Price said: “Work is good for your health and we must make sure that people with severe mental ill health get the support they need to be able to work.
“Today’s announcement – backed by an additional £2.3billion in real terms by 2023/24 – will help some of society’s most vulnerable get their lives back on track with tailored one-to-one mental health support and guidance to help them hold down a steady job, ensuring no person slips through the net.”
Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind, said: “We know that being able to work is an important part of keeping mentally well for many people, and everyone experiencing a mental health problem has the right to dignity and respect, including accessing work if it’s right for them.
“Ensuring that employers and organisations know how to support staff with mental health problems is a key part of this, as well as recognition that each individual will have differing experiences.”
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Claire Murdoch, NHS England national mental health director, added: “The goals and aspirations of someone living with severe mental illness are the same as anyone else’s – steady employment and an active life.
“As the NHS Long Term Plan makes clear – stable employment is a major factor in maintaining good health and is an important outcome for recovery.
Those in work tend to be in better health, visit their GP less and are less likely to need hospital treatment, which is good for individuals themselves as well as being better for the economy.”
Getty – Contributor The NHS scheme which is currently available in 21 local NHS areas will be rolled out to another 28
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