The Employment Support Co-ordination Service for Dorset
Common Mental Health conditions affect a large number of people of working age and they are a significant cause of absence from work. Evidence suggests that mental health problems can also cause lower productivity while employees are attending work (presenteeism). Research suggests that being in work can have enormous benefits for people with mild to moderate mental health problems. The longer that somebody is absent from work, the less likely they are to return. This highlights the need for early intervention whilst the individual is still employed.
Therefore it is important that the Steps 2 Wellbeing service works closely with individuals, employers and other third sector organisations to ensure individuals with mental health problems are able to either remain at work or return to work.
The Steps 2 Wellbeing Service in Dorset works closely with the Dorset Mental Health Forum who provide the WorkWise employment support coordination programme. This is part of a national focus on helping people with common mental health problems to remain in work or to regain the confidence to gain the skills to return to working life.
WorkWise supports adults who:
• Need help to keep their job
• Want to return to work
• Are thinking about training for a job
Services provided include:
• Information and advice
• Signposting to other relevant services
Who can access the service?
Any individual who is engaged with the Steps 2 Wellbeing Service in Dorset can access WorkWise. Just speak to your practitioner to find out more.
Support for Employers
We can also provide support for employers. As you probably know, the Equalities Act says that people with disabilities must not be disadvantaged either at work or in searching for work. A mental health problem may, in some instances, be regarded as a disability, and since one in four people will experience a mental health problem in their life, the chances are that a member of your staff may need help at some time.The reality is that by knowing how to be aware of difficulties early on, you can support a member of staff to recover more quickly and even continue to work efficiently.
By helping them, you can help your business with:
• Reduced sickness absence
• Increased productivity/performance
• Better staff retention
• Improved staff morale
• Increased staff loyalty
• A health-friendly reputation
If you are feeling very distressed, despairing or suicidal and need immediate help please contact your GP and request an emergency appointment, contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
If your GP surgery is not open, you can contact the NHS Out of Hours Medical Service on 111. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation. If you feel at harm to yourself or from other – go straight to your nearest Accident and Emergency.
If you are concerned that someone else is very distressed and might be considering suicide please encourage them to contact their GP and make an emergency appointment. Alternatively you might wish to encourage them to speak to the Samaritans on 116 123.
If you are concerned that someone is about to act on thoughts of hurting themselves you might wish help them attend the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. Alternatively, you may choose to contact the Police on 999.
Similarly, if you become concerned that someone is at risk of hurting somebody else
If you feel you need to talk to someone in confidence, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on:
Tel: 116 123
(TEXT MESSAGE ONLY number available on 07725 909090)
There are also local Samaritans branches across Hampshire and Dorset.