Supporting people with mental health conditions to return to work

A return to employment, or even starting work for the first time, can provide an opportunity to pursue an important and valuable goal. Unfortunately, people can also face many challenges in accessing paid work due to discrimination, the complexity of the ever changing benefit system, gaps in work experience and lack of access to practical job-seeking skills.

The Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust Recovery and Wellbeing College and Employment Services has devised eight workshops to address those challenges.

The Modules that are available are:

• Introduction to Employment
• Understanding Work Related Benefits
• Goals Setting and Skills
• Job Searching
• CV Workshop
• Job Applications and Interview Skills
• Signposting and Action Planning
• Managing Personal Information at Work

Making the transition from welfare and benefits to paid employment is often a key concern for many students. Students attending this course often express the anxiety and stress they can experience when trying to make this transition and feeling that they might not be able to cope and then find themselves in debt.

The “Understanding Work Related Benefits” module focuses on each part of the journey from welfare and benefits to paid employment by breaking it down step by step.

The Module covers key issues within the transition such as:

• Understanding what disability specific benefits are available
• Understanding what In Work Related benefits are available once you transition into paid employment
• Support with understanding Housing Benefit and Council Tax support when in paid employment
• Awareness of the upcoming changes to the current benefit system.
• Useful contact information of benefit departments and additional support agencies

All Employment Modules are co-produced and delivered by a Practitioner Trainer who brings the expert knowledge on the subject and a Peer Trainer who has lived experience of mental health difficulties. The overall aim of the Employment Modules is to support students with their employment journey and empower them to feel more confident in dealing with the potential challenges that they may face when returning to employment.


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