Hundreds of residents from Bude to Penzance are set to benefit from improved mental health support as Amber Rudd announces £100,000 funding for a life-changing project to keep people working.
The initiative means work coaches can continue to refer people with mental health conditions to specialist one to one support, without the need for a GP or clinical assessment, thereby by-passing the health service.
As a result, people are able to get help early to tackle their condition before it worsens. The support is also designed to help people find their way back into the workplace when they’re ready.
Amber Rudd, Work and Pensions Secretary, said:
We want to reach people before their mental health spirals downwards – and this money will help to do just that.
The pilot proved that work coaches are well placed to make sure people get help quickly and are supported to get their lives back on track so I’m delighted that it can continue.
Importantly it has also shown that people trust their work coach to help them during their toughest times – and I’m very proud of that.
A successful pilot testing the approach, first launched in Penzance Jobcentre and expanded across Cornwall, has been running since March 2018 and the six-figure cash injection will bankroll the scheme to October 2020.
Terri Whitten, spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Jobcentres said:
We know that some people – for whatever reason – don’t want to be assessed in a clinical setting.
That’s a big reason why we’ve set this up – so work coaches can help people get the support they need.
The results we’ve seen so far prove without a doubt that this approach works. People really are being helped to manage their mental health and get their lives back on track.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions announced the funding during a visit to Truro Jobcentre and the community-based organisation Café Chaos which supports vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the town.
The Department for Work and Pensions will work with local partners, including the council, to secure the project further into the future. If it helps, that’s brilliant, but perhaps easier access to health services might also be of benefit.