Greater Support for Southampton Jobseekers with Severe Mental Health Issues

DWP and SCC join forces to provide new service

Jobseekers mental health

Southampton jobseekers with serious mental health issues can now get extra support to help them find work, thanks to a new partnership project between Jobcentre Plus and Southampton City Council.

The Individual Placement Support (IPS) project - to be launched officially at the Civic Centre on Thursday (13 February 2020) - sees mental health employment specialists from the council working out of the Jobcentre for the next two years. They are on hand to give Jobcentre customers - with issues such as chronic depression, bi-polar disorder, and schizophrenia - advice and access to services that will help jobseekers cope better on a day-to-day basis, and make it easier for them to take advantage of available work opportunities.

Individual support will be given to people so they can:

  • Explore and progress towards paid employment in competitive work settings
  • Retain employment, either during a period of ill health, or when they return to work, including unlimited support to sustain long-term employment
  • Access appropriate secondary or primary mental health services

The project also gives support directly to employers to help them create healthier working environments for those with mental health issues, allowing for more sustainable recruitment.

Sarah Carhart, District Manager for Jobcentre Plus said: "I am excited to launch this innovative project, which will support claimants with severe or debilitating mental health needs, reducing their dependency on benefits and bringing them closer to mainstream employment."

Sandy Hopkins, Chief Executive Officer at Southampton City Council, said: "Offering a personal service to customers struggling with mental health in the city is a critical start to ensuring they get the best support possible, helping them in their journey to employment and the best quality of life. We know this scheme has the potential to make a huge difference and I look forward to seeing the long term results."