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Working in partnership with the NHS to improve mental health

28 Sep 2018

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An innovative partnership between Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and Remploy, the disability, employment and skills specialist is providing enhanced support for people experiencing challenges with their mental health.
An embedded mental health surgery model gives people working at the Trust direct access to a specialist Remploy Vocational Rehabilitation Coach based onsite, with personalised support to help people address any life changes impacting their mental health.

Michael Smith, Head of Employee Health and Wellbeing for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As a health provider we want colleagues to feel comfortable talking about their mental health and we work hard to raise awareness, encouraging colleagues to seek support when they need it. Issues like stress, depression and anxiety can have a significant impact on someone’s personal and work life. Providing the right support to people when they need it can improve health and wellbeing and reduce absenteeism, so it is better for the individual and their employer.”
The Employee Health and Wellbeing Service at the Trust supports around 3000 employees and also provides occupational health services to a range of external clients from the industrial and manufacturing sector.
Michael said: “Working in partnership with Remploy has enabled us to build on our existing service. They have a ‘can do’ attitude similar to ours, so we have developed a very positive, responsive relationship with them. The embedded mental health surgery model complements our own support service and enables us to help more colleagues when they need it.”
People referred to the Employee Health and Wellbeing Service with stress, depression and anxiety receive a call from their Occupational Health Specialist Nurse Advisor within one working day to provide individuals with timely support. During this conversation one of the support options is a referral to a Remploy Vocational Rehabilitation Coach, helping them to work through their crisis quickly and address their issues.  

The embedded mental health surgery model is part of the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service, delivered by Remploy funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.
Chris Kingsbury, Partnerships Manager for the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service said: “Airedale was the first to trial the embedded mental health model to improve their mental health offer. They already had a standard, confidential helpline and referral process but this integrated service has increased access and the level of support available to their employees and service users. Airedale has set the precedent and now we’re seeing other NHS providers start to follow suit, which is a fantastic step forward.”
Michael added: “Mental health has just as much impact as physical health, so we want to make sure people have timely, easy to access support. We’re seeing demand for the service increase, so we are excited to see how our partnership with Remploy develops in the future.”
For more information about the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service, or working in partnership with Remploy, please contact Chris Kingsbury on 0776 636 4155.

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