The Bristol Mental Health Employment Service (BMHES) provides employment services to people living with mental health problems.
In the last six months of 2015, the NHS commissioned service doubled the number of people they’d supported into competitive work whilst maintaining a quick response to all new users of the service.
The service has been buoyed by additional funding from the NHS to expand the work they do in Bristol and support more people living with mental health problems.
Helen Underhay, locality manager for Richmond Fellowship in Bristol and North Somerset, said:
“The service we provide focusses on the quality of support we provide to people over and above everything else. We’ve been able to support more people to manage their mental health in work and liaise with their employers to ensure reasonable provisions are made to support people living with mental health problems.
“On top of that we have increased the number of people accessing our services without compromising on waiting times or the personal level of support our clients receive which is testament to the skill and dedication of our staff.
“It shows that our service is open and accessible to all those who want to find work.”
Following feedback, clients of the service reported feeling more confident and capable of managing their mental health and fully supported by their advisor. One client, who wished to remain anonymous, said:
“When I first contacted BMHES in December, I was still very unwell and struggling to see a successful way forward.
“With only a day’s notice, Alfie stepped in to support me at a meeting with my manager to arrange a possible return to work. He ensured that my needs from the meeting were met by a rather reluctant manager and supported me through feelings of anxiety during the process.
“Alfie helped me to understand how to deal with the problems I face on a daily basis so I feel that I am now able to carry out my job far more successfully than I was ever able to do before (even before I was unwell).
“I have received a great deal of praise from my manager on my improved performance in my role and my home life has also significantly improved.”
The service is part of the new Bristol Mental Health initiative that brings together services across the city to provide people with a more comprehensive level of support for their mental health problems.
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