Mental Health Employment Service Selected as Centre of Excellence

Centre for Mental Health IPS Centre of Excellence 2019-2020 logo

Bromley, Lewisham & Greenwich (BLG) Mind’s Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Employment Service has been selected as a Centre of Excellence by the Centre for Mental Health, following an independent external review.

The IPS service supports people living with severe and enduring mental health problems find and keep meaningful, mainstream jobs related to their interests, as an important part of their recovery and wellbeing. The service helps people find full-time employment as quickly as possible and provides unlimited support to both the employee and employer.

The IPS service run by BLG Mind, in partnership with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, operates in the London boroughs of Bromley and Greenwich.

The service began in November 2017, initially funded by City Bridge Trust. In the first few months, the service exceeded expectations supporting 19 people to find and retain work. NHS England agreed to fund further development of the service in Bromley and into Greenwich in 2018. At the end of March 2019, the service had supported 71 people find and retain employment.

There are only 20 IPS Centres of Excellence in the country, and this is the first local Mind service to be selected. According to the Centre for Mental Health, “IPS Centres of Excellence are exemplary in their use of the IPS model and the job outcomes they achieve for people with severe and enduring mental illness”.

“Our IPS service being selected as a Centre of Excellence is a great achievement, given how new the service is,” said Dominic Parkinson, Head of Services at BLG Mind. “It’s important that individuals are given the choice and specialist support to either enter or return to employment. Employment can also play a key part in someone’s recovery by improving their confidence, self-esteem, connections with family and friends and the communities they are living in.”

The Individual and Placement Support (IPS) service works with clinicians, community mental health teams and people with mental health needs, providing personalised support to:

  • identify the type of work most suitable based on interests, skills and experience
  • search for and find full time paid work
  • write a cv, covering letters and complete application forms
  • engage with employers on behalf of people with mental health needs
  • support mental health recovery.

This service is for patients with mental health needs using and open to secondary mental health services provided by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust.

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