New help for people with anxiety or depression to find stable work

The innovative Service will integrate employment support with talking therapies to help residents find sustainable work in their chosen field of employment

New help is now available for people with mental health needs such as anxiety or depression to find stable work as part of their recovery.

The West London Alliance Mental Health and Employment Trailblazer service, launched this week in some wards in Brent, will also be available in wards in Barnet, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham until December 2018.

The innovative Service will integrate employment support with talking therapies to help residents find sustainable work in their chosen field of employment. It will improve the quality of residents’ lives, enable them to be more independent and reduce spending on public services. 

Trailblazer is one of 4 pilots across England testing how well an employment support intervention called Individual Placement Support (IPS) works for people with anxiety and depression. IPS has a good evidence base showing that it is very effective for people with severe and enduring mental health problems.

The service is being introduced by Twining Enterprise, a London based charity with a long history of working with people with mental health needs, in partnership with Central & North West NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) IAPT and Employment Service, and the Centre for Mental Health. Twining and CNWL Employment Service are both centres of excellence for providing IPS services.

Many of the referrals will come from Jobcentre Plus or the talking therapy services but referrals are welcome from social workers, GPs and other professionals.

The West London Alliance is taking forward this pilot on behalf of the London Economic Action Partnership. Trailblazer is funded largely via the Department for Communities and Local Government, the European Social Fund and Jobcentre Plus and will be part of a national evaluation.

Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said “I am delighted that Ealing Council, together with our partners in the West London Alliance, are able to pilot this innovative service for residents with common mental health needs. We know that having a job has a very positive impact on people’s mental health so there are major benefits to be gained from supporting people to find, and stay in, employment.

“The evidence shows that integrating employment support with mental health services makes a real difference, because it addresses underlying issues and helps people to overcome the very real barriers they may face. I am very proud to be part of this pilot; it heralds the way forward for the future.”,

Later in 2017, we expect a similar service, funded via the Big Lottery, to start in other wards in all seven West London Boroughs. These services will be in addition to existing employment support services.

To find out more have a look at the Twining Enterprise's website or please email ipstrailblazer@twiningenterprise.org.uk or info@wla.london