Despite this past year’s difficult lockdown conditions, Southern Health’s ‘Individual Placement and Support’ team is on track to support more patients to find paid work than previous years.
The local NHS Trust’s ‘IPS’ service aims to help people receiving care from its Southampton community mental health and early intervention teams to find paid job placements to aid their recovery from mental ill health.
The service, that is also part of Southampton City Council, integrated with the mental health teams in 2016, the IPS service has supported more than 200 patients into paid employment, as well as providing ongoing employment support to them. Career placements have ranged from sales consultant to bakery assistant and the team have even provided support for ongoing business ventures.
Lacey Faulds, who recently benefited from the service during her recovery, explained: “I was referred to the IPS team after being discharged from the perinatal mental health team. I had just started a small Facebook group where I was selling my homemade soap. Supported by my Employment Specialist, I decided that I wanted to combine my business with peer support and so I attended self-employment and peer support courses. In a matter of three months, my business exploded - I went from making a few hundred a month to quickly making over a thousand!”
Lacey continued: “I regularly share my story with the aim that it will help me to normalise post-natal mental health and challenge the stigma around post-natal depression and psychosis. I owe the successful expansion of my business to my Employment Specialist. Without her support, this would not have been possible.”
Emma Dalwood, Southern Health’s Individual Placement and Support Team Manager added: “It is a privilege to be able to support people with employment as an important part of their recovery. We work alongside people to enable them to discover their skills and strengths and develop the confidence to start to realise their potential, overcoming barriers that they may have previously faced. We are proud to have assisted with over 200 job starts and we have been able to offer ongoing support to individuals on their recovery journey as they settle into and progress within employment.”