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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness
Work and mental health

Looking for work

Most people who have had to take a break from work find they need some help to return to the workplace and keep their job going.


Help with finding work

This is the link to the government website which summarises the work of Job Centre Plus in helping people to find work or gain skills.

Disability Employment Advisers

Disability Employment Advisers (DEAs) work in Job Centres and can help you find work or gain new skills even if you have been out of work for a long time, or if you have little or no work experience. A DEA will find out about your abilities and the sort of job that would suit you. They will then help you to draw up an action plan to help you to get a job or onto a training course.

Pathways to work

Pathways to Work is a programme run by Jobcentre Plus tohelp people who are claiming Employment and Support Allowance or incapacity benefits togetwork. The help is tailored specifically for each person taking part in the programme.

Work Choice

From October 2010, WORKSTEP, Work Preparation and the Job Introduction Scheme will be replaced by Work Choice. Work Choice helps disabled people to find employment and can support you in your job if you need it.

Realising ambitions: Better employment support for people with a mental health condition

Rachel Perkins, Paul Farmer and Paul Litchfield

Department for Work and Pensions, December 2009

This review was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to look at mental health and employment and to identify how Government could help people with mental health conditions fulfil their employment ambitions. Chapter 4 contains information on linking mental health and welfare to work services. In particular, it may be worth seeing the Mental Health Coordinator in your Jobcentre Plus District. Chapter 5 has information on easing the transition from benefits to work, including examples of flexible in-work support using Access to Work and intern schemes.

Doing what works: Individual placement and support into employment

Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, February 2009.  This briefing sets out the case for the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) approach to helping people with service mental health problems to gain competitive employment. The key principles of IPS may be useful if you are putting together an action or support plan for your entry into work.

Rethink employment and training services

Rethink provides a wide range of employment and training services to people with severe mental illness.

Please note that we are unable to offer advice on individual cases. Please see our FAQ for advice on getting help.

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