The government today announced plans to roll out a scheme to support people with mental health problems stay in work, after early results from pilots showed a high success rate.
The In Work Support project, run by the charity Mind, uses retention specialists to provide practical and emotional support to people experiencing mental distress and to mediate with employers over workplace adjustments.
The government-backed pilot has been undertaken by Mind’s Hammersmith and Fulham and Islington branches. Early indications have shown a 90% success rate in helping people with fluctuating mental health conditions retain their jobs, said the Department for Work and Pensions.
It said it would now extend the scheme with a view to rolling it out nationally.
Mind said one of the advantages of the scheme was that it encouraged people to self-refer to the scheme overcomes previous barriers to seeking help such as fear of stigma from employers.
Mind’s national workplace lead, Alex Tambourides, said: “If employees experiencing mental distress can access support early enough, and on their terms, they can be empowered to prevent their health and lives from spiralling out of the workplace and into social exclusion.
“In Work Support proves that if the service is flexible and person centred both the employer and the employee can win. We have enabled conversations between managers and staff that would have been previously brushed under the carpet by stigma and misunderstanding.”