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Free employee mental health support service launches

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A free in-work mental health support service for employees who are experiencing mental health problems is being launched.

The government funded ‘Access to Work Mental Health’ self-referral service aims to assist more than 1,600 people with mental health conditions to stay in employment while they receive support.

To be eligible for the service individuals must self-refer with or without the employers consent, be in temporary or permanent employment and have a mental health condition which has resulted in workplace absence or is causing difficulties to remaining at work.

The ‘in work’ support is available to employees for a maximum period of six months from the date of self-referral.

It includes:
• A personal counselling service, mediation or other tailored mental health support for the individual;
• Provision of a specified action plan, progress report and exit report;
• Employer education;
• Assessing an individual’s needs and identifying coping strategies;
• Identifying reasonable adjustments within the workplace or with working practice.

It is being provided by Remploy.

The firm’s director of employment services Beth Carruthers said: “Remploy is delighted to be delivering the mental health support services of Access to work.

“Our support is completely impartial and confidential, comes at no cost to employer or employee and is delivered by experts who truly understand mental health.

“It is important to remember that the moment an individual asks for help is the moment things will start to get better.”

Research from mental health charity Mind suggests some 70 million working days are lost every year due to ill mental health and that staff turnover as a result of employees leaving their jobs due to mental ill health costs £2.4bn.

The scheme can be accessed through the Direct Gov website.

A video explaining and promoting the scheme has also been produced:

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