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Support for secondary mental health claimants in Southampton

Project providing specialist individual support for those whose mental health problems affect their ability to function day-to-day, through gaining and sustaining employment


10 April 2019
Support for secondary mental health claimants in Southampton

The Wessex MA Mental Health Champion Andy Sherman JP has successfully applied for a European Flexible Support Fund community grant to instigate a project supporting individuals with secondary mental health conditions to reduce and avoid offending in Southampton. The project will provide specialist individual support for those whose mental health problems are affecting their ability to function day-to-day, through gaining and sustaining employment. The project will fill a known gap in provision and will work by:

  • Integrating mental health employment services into the local Jobcentre team to ensure specialist mental health and employment support is readily available and timely
  • Ensuring that clients have access to a range of secondary mental health support options, either directly via the community mental health team or by signposting to appropriate mental health services
  • Ensuring that clients are supported to explore and progress towards paid employment in competitive work settings
  • Enabling mental health employment specialists to work directly with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust mental health services, to bridge the gap between Jobcentre staff and mental health services in the best interests of individual clients
  • Offering clients support and advice to retain employment
  • Offering support and training to Jobcentre staff around how best to support people with secondary mental health conditions
  • Providing time unlimited support for clients once they have secured work in order to sustain and retain their employment
  • Conducting additional research on the impact of this project, eg social capital benefit

MA Director of Policy and Research and Deputy Chief Executive Dr Jo Easton has said: 'Andy is passionate about the mental health agenda and has been the driving force behind this really exciting and innovative project. The project will make a real difference to the lives of individuals suffering from severe mental health conditions.'

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