New £1.5 million programme supporting young Londoners with mental health issues into work

19 July 2017

A £1.5 million programme designed to open up a wealth of employment opportunities for young Londoners with mental health conditions has been announced.

The funding from the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, will help young people in the capital with mental health issues to find and maintain employment.

The Trust is working in partnership with Centre for Mental Health, the leading authority on mental health research in the UK, to run the programme over the next three years.

The initiative is part of City Bridge Trust’s new Bridge To Work programme, which supports young disadvantaged Londoners into employment.

The programme will use the method Individual Placement Support, which after research carried out over a number of years internationally and in the UK, was found to be more effective than other methods at supporting people with mental health problems into work.

Research found that Individual Placement and Support (IPS), which focuses on getting people into employment first and providing training and support on the job and support for employees – including clinical care and welfare advice – was the best approach. IPS is now internationally recognised as the most effective method of supporting people with severe mental illness into employment, with continued support once they are in the job.

Centre for Mental Health will use the funding to help young people across London in areas where support services are not yet available, including Tower Hamlets, Newham, Bromley and Lewisham.

Mental health is a significant issue for young people. Research shows that over half of mental health problems in adult life – excluding dementia- start by the age of 14 and 75% by the age of 18. The barriers to employment faced by young people with mental health issues can be multiple and complex, but many challenges can be overcome with the right support.

Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust committee, said:

At the moment, strong individual support services are delivered in only 10 London boroughs, so this project has the potential to expand across London.

The Centre for Mental Health is the leading authority on mental health research in the UK. This funding will give employers the support, skills and resources they need to increase opportunities for young people with mental health issues.

Our Bridge To Work programme will make real long-term change a reality for young Londoners and narrow the employment gap for young people in the capital.

Jan Hutchinson, Centre for Mental Health programme director, said:

We know that Individual Placement Support gives people with mental health needs the best possible chance of gaining employment when they want to work.

Through the programme we aim to find paid work for at least 200 people and to further increase access to IPS in 2018.

We want all Londoners who are using mental health services to have the benefit of an Individual Placement Support service to help them find work and support them whilst in employment. This major new grant will help us to get closer to that goal and to give people a chance to get the job they want to change their lives.

City Bridge Trust provides grants totalling around £20 million per year towards charitable activity benefitting Greater London. It is dedicated to making the Capital a fairer place to work and live. The Trust has awarded around 7,600 grants totalling over £360 million since it first began in 1995. It is London’s biggest independent grant giver, tackling disadvantage across the Capital. City Bridge Trust is committed to making London a fairer place to work and live.

[1] Centre for Mental Health

[2] Mental Health Foundation

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