Mental health advisers will be stationed at all 11 Jobcentres in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as part of a new three-year project funded by Cornwall Council.
It aims to support people who face significant barriers to gaining employment such as substance misuse, housing issues, bereavement and debt.
The Mental Health Employment Advisers (MHEAs) work for Cornwall charity Pentreath and will also be embedded at the Devonport Jobcentre in Plymouth as part of the contract.
People will be referred to the project by Jobcentre work coaches who will set up either a face-to-face or online consultation with an MHEA.
They will then complete an initial assessment with each person referred and co-produce a bespoke action plan as well as recording a baseline wellbeing assessment.
The action plan will include action for both the MHEA and the customer and will provide direct interventions as well as appropriate signposting to relevant agencies.
Customers will also be offered two follow-up meetings where initial actions will be reviewed and plans agreed for the next steps.
The scheme launched officially on Friday, November 11, when George Eustice MP visited the Jobcentre in Redruth.
It follows a successful three-year pilot funded by DWP that helped many people break down mental health barriers to find work or training.
Dr Richard Sharpe, Consultant in Public Health at Cornwall Council, said:
“We are delighted to be able to fund such an important project at a time when many people across Cornwall and the nation as a whole are struggling with soaring bills.
“The cost-of-living crisis will inevitably create a lot of uncertainty and anxiety and we want to support as many people as possible to overcome their personal hurdles to find work or training opportunities to help provide for themselves and their families.”
Jonathan Mutton, Deputy Chief Executive and Project Manager at Pentreath, said:
“This is a fantastic project which will enable customers to feel better able to progress towards and into work opportunities and training.
“We look forward to working closely with the Council and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to ensure it is a success.”
Kate Curtis, DWP Service Leader for Devon & Cornwall, said:
“Following the success of our three-year pilot we are pleased to work in collaboration with Public Health Cornwall and Pentreath to support individuals with their mental health and wellbeing.
“Results have shown that by co-locating Pentreath Mental Health Employment Advisers in Jobcentres, expert support can be provided to customers across Cornwall, so helping them progress towards or into employment.”
George Eustice MP said:
“Mental health issues such as social anxiety or depression can be a significant barrier to people accessing work but once those barriers are overcome, being in a working environment can help.
“I am really pleased to see that the Jobcentres locally have teamed up with mental health charities like Pentreath to help support people back to work.”
For more information visit www.pentreath.co.uk
People are also reminded that there is a wealth of support available for anyone struggling with their mental health. Visit our mental health support pages.
If you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health call the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly 24/7 NHS mental health response line on 0800 038 5300. It’s free to access by anyone, any age, any time, day or night.
For information on support available with the cost-of-living crisis, visit www.cornwall.gov.uk/costofliving