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Access to Work Mental Health Support Service

By James Seton

Published 28 July 2022

Personalised support to complement Occupational Health provision

Mental health remains the leading cause of sickness absence, with an estimated 70 million work days lost annually due to mental health problems in the UK, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year*.

The pandemic has accentuated the problem – with more employees experiencing mental health difficulties and longer waiting times for clinical support. While clinical interventions may be necessary for employees experiencing mental health issues, additional practical and motivational support is available – which can complement, and in some cases avoid, the need for further clinical interventions.

The Access to Work Mental Health Support Service, delivered by Remploy, a Maximus company, and funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, provides mental health support to any employee in paid employment struggling with their mental health. The free, confidential service offers 9 months of individual, personalised support, including 1-to-1 support from an expert Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant.

Occupational Health professionals can refer employees to the service including contact details, or alternatively, employees can self-refer.

The service explores and addresses the employee’s specific challenges (for example, poor sleep, anxiety, or burnout at work), and provides them with personalised tools to cope with any difficulties they may face in the workplace.

Businesses from major City banks to NHS trusts and even Formula One teams such as Williams F1 have recognised the value of the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service in supporting the mental wellbeing of both employees and apprentices within their workforce.

*Mental Health Foundation.

Access to Work Mental Health Support Service offers significant benefits for Occupational Health practitioners. The first is its emphasis on light-touch work-focused support, which can lighten the load for OH professionals and allow them to focus on delivering clinical support.

The service can also provide an effective follow-on from rehabilitation. When an employee is receiving clinical support and is ready to return to the workplace, a referral can be made to Access to Work, providing advice for employers and support with adjustments to help employees stay in work and avoid recurring periods of sickness absence

Chris Kingsbury, National Partnerships Manager at Remploy

Mental Health Focus Webinar advert

You can view Chris’s recent Webinar given to iOH Members here

OH Today Summer 2022

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