Returning to work after a bout of mental illness can be extremely daunting; especially if you lost your job whilst unwell or work was particularly stressful before you took sick leave.

However, if you want to return to work after being off sick with mental illness or start a new job you don't have to 'go it alone'. One of the UK’s best kept secrets is that there is a wealth of support for people with mental health conditions who want to get into and stay in work! There is even help if you are already in work, struggling with your symptoms and need help to stay in work or to keep your job.

Many people with severe symptoms such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Major Depression and Anxiety have received support to get and stay in work.

Where to start

There are a number of agencies that proactively support people with mental health conditions to find and sustain employment. If you would like to return to work:

  • Speak to your community mental health team and ask them if they have an employment support service that they can refer you to

If your community mental health team do not provide an employment service:

  • Ask your care co-ordinator to help you find a local service that specialises in supporting people with mental health conditions into employment

If your community mental health team do not provide an employment service:

  • contact the disability employment advisor at your local job centre. Ask your care co-ordinator to attend the first meeting with you
  • Ask at your local GP surgery if there are any employment services for people with mental health problems;
  • Ask at your local library;
  • Contact the mental health information helpline for your area (if there is one);
  • Contact the Disability Employment Advisor at the Job Centre.