Employment advice service highly recommended by service users

11th October 2017

Our Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Employment Advice (EA) Service provides advice and support to people whose mental health has been affected by their work or where a pre-existing mental health condition is impacting on their current job. The Service aims to support people to retain their jobs, to make a sustained return to work after sickness absence or move jobs depending on their individual needs and aspirations.

The EA Service is accessed via self-referral but is also used by IAPT workers, GPs, Practice Nurses, Advice Centres who make regular referrals.

People may be referred to the EA Service for a variety of reasons but the majority of people have a work-related stress problem which may be affected by other conditions such as depression or stress.  The work-related stress problem may be caused by bullying, mismanagement, worry about redundancy, an increased workload or discrimination including the failure of employers to make reasonable adjustments.  The individual may also have an underlying health condition which impacts on their work or have limited coping strategies and be seeking additional support.

Service user B had been signed off sick for two weeks with anxiety and stress due to perceived workplace bullying and mismanagement around his long standing mental health condition.  He was concerned that his employers were discriminating against him and was looking to leave the organisation.

The EA Service agreed a plan of action with B which included sending a letter to his employers explaining the situation.  The letter resulted in a positive dialogue with the employer and the EA Service acted as a mediator, facilitating understanding  and also providing advice and support on mental health conditions.

B and his employers agreed to implement a wellness recovery action plan with very positive results. B remains in work and is receiving good feedback on his work from his employers. The EA Service is providing ongoing support to B and his employer.

Jodie Millington, IAPT North Team Manager, said: “We are proud to offer this important service to the people of Sheffield.  Supporting people to remain in work and manage the impact of work related stress really does benefit their mental health and wellbeing.

“We know that the EA Service is highly valued by those who have accessed it for support. The latest feedback from our service users is that almost 100% would recommend the service to their colleagues or friends and that nearly 9 out of 10 found that support from the service had reduced their stress levels.”

To find out more about the EA Service visit:  http://iaptsheffield.shsc.nhs.uk/employment-advice/