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.

 

Volunteers win award for supporting prison leavers

Volunteers in North Tyneside have received an award for their work supporting people leaving the criminal justice system.

The volunteers from national mental health charity Richmond Fellowship received a Bronze Commendation at the North Tyneside Council’s Chairman’s Commendation Scheme awards for their work to help reintegrate people into society and reduce re-offending levels. Read more

Richmond Fellowship teams up with leading learning disabilities charity to promote inclusivity

Richmond Fellowship has teamed up with CHANGE, a leading learning disabilities charity, to take part in Don’t Shut Me Out! a three-year Comic Relief funded project which aims to improve inclusivity and accessibility to mental health services for people with learning disabilities.

Today, Thursday 6th July 2017, as part of its ongoing partnership work with CHANGE, Richmond Fellowship is pleased to publish a series of new easy read literature that is available to all members of the public and the individuals it currently supports across the country. Read more

Richmond Fellowship is Sudbury Charity of the Year

Our Sudbury team in action

Richmond Fellowship, the national mental health charity making recovery reality, has been selected as charity of the year by the newly elected Mayor of Sudbury, Councillor Sarah Page.

Various fundraising events will be taking place in Sudbury, Suffolk over the next 12 months including a curry night, coffee morning and photography competition in partnership with local schools. Read more

Crisis House opens its doors in Lancashire

National mental health charity Richmond Fellowship, part of Recovery Focus, has opened a new service in Lancashire to provide support to people experiencing a mental health crisis.

Willow House, a crisis house in the Chorley village of Coppull, provides short term placements for people experiencing a mental health crisis as an alternative to hospital admission and is being run in partnership with the NHS. Read more

Richmond Fellowship reaction to Isle of Wight CQC report

Our reaction to the Isle of Wight NHS Trust CQC report:

Stephen Smith-Trask, Managing Director for Richmond Fellowship (south) said:

“Richmond Fellowship is aware of the recently published CQC report on the Isle of Wight Trust. We also acknowledge the decision of Karen Baker to step down from her role and welcome the trust’s commitment to work towards improving service provision for people on the island.

“Richmond Fellowship provides a number of services on the Isle of Wight and is proud to work alongside a range of partners, including our colleagues in the NHS, in order to ensure we are providing the very best mental health services for people on the Isle of Wight.

We have exciting plans in place to bring new services onto the island in 2017 and look forward to continuing our support to make recovery reality for people living with mental ill health on the Isle of Wight.”

Notes to editors:

 

Richmond Fellowship services on the Isle of Wight (formerly provided by My Time)

Richmond Fellowship provides a number of services on the Isle of Wight:

  • Quay House Recovery Centre – A community support centre funded by the CCG and Age UK to support people to increase their social skills and support low level mental health needs.
  • Community based service – offering one to one support to people with mental health problems, supporting them in maintaining their housing, attending appointments and managing their finances and benefits.
  • Reablement – a joint project with the NHS to support people with high level mental health needs to reintegrate into the community following a stay in hospital.

Motherhood and Bipolar – Jodi’s story

Jodi is a mother to Molly and has bipolar and PTSD. She first came to using our crisis house after a break down in her relationship left her in need of support.

Following her time in the crisis house she has gone on to have her baby girl and has risen to the challenges of mother hood. In her new blog she tells her story: Read more