Employment Support

We support service users who would like get a paid work or retain their current job. We work closely with many different employers and other agencies such as JobCentre Plus. Our focus is on helping individuals gain or retain paid work in their local community.

Who we are

We are a county-wide team of employment workers, based in Somerset Partnership community mental health teams in Taunton, Yeovil, Wells and Bridgwater. We also cover other team bases in Chard and Minehead.

What we do

The Employment Support Service supports individuals with mental health needs to gain or retain paid employment on a full or part-time basis.

We can help you:

  • find out what type of job would suit you
  • set realistic goals for returning to work
  • make paid work part of your plans for the future
  • look for work in your local area
  • prepare a CV, complete job application forms and prepare for job interviews
  • find positive ways to tell employers about your mental health needs
  • by supporting you in your workplace
  • with information and advice for your employer
  • link in with Jobcentre Plus and other support organisations.

Before going back to work, we can help you arrange an In-Work Benefit calculation so you have the information that you need about the financial implications of getting a paid job.

If you are having difficulties at work, we can liaise with your employer to discuss your circumstances. We would get your permission to do this first and decide with you what information it would be helpful to share.

Options to help you keep your job include:

  • planning a successful return to work
  • looking at your work place and recommending ways to make it easier for you to do your job.
  • support in your workplace
  • working with you and your line manager
  • supporting your employer to understand your mental health needs.

Some of the benefits of being in paid work are:

  • improved confidence and self esteem
  • having a valuable role
  • meeting people
  • improved physical health
  • increased motivation and energy
  • a sense of achievement.

Keeping your job, or returning to work after a period of ill-health, can be a positive step in your recovery.

How we work

We work with each person that is referred to us on an individual basis. If your are in work, we want to find out from about the role that you already have, and the type of support you would like to help you keep your job.

If you are looking for a new job, we will ask you about the work experiences you have had in the past, and the type of work you would like to do now. We will help you find vacant positions to apply for and support you though the application process.

Once you are back at work, our support will help you settle into your working environment. When you are happy in your role, we will taper off our support over a period of time, in consultation with you.

We work closely with partner organisations such as JobCentre Plus, PLUSS, Shaw Trust, MIND and employers throughout the county. We aim to promote the interests of individuals who have mental health needs and who would like to work or retain the job that they have already got.

How you can you access these services

You can get in touch with us through your Somerset Partnership community mental health team care co-ordinator or your in-patient key worker. If you would like to get a job or have a job but are worried about keeping it, speak to your care co-ordinator or key worker about a referral to the Employment Support Service.

Waiting time

We try to keep our waiting times to a minimum. If your job is at risk we aim to speak to you or meet you with in two working days of receiving a referral for you. Waiting times for other forms of support vary from around two to six weeks depending on demand.

Where you can access these services

We will meet you where you find it most comfortable and convenient. This may be in a local community mental health team base, or it may be at home or at your workplace. Alternative venues may include local community facilities such as libraries if you wish. We can offer an out-of-hours service if this is more convenient for you due to your work commitments.

Contacts

Ed Gillam, Team Manager
Foundation House
Wellsprings Road
Taunton
TA2 7PQ

Tel: 07920 723781
Email: ed.gillam@sompar.nhs.uk

Additonal information

Centre for Mental Health  www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/employment

Directgov  www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/index.htm