Cash Boost for Mental Health Trust’s Employment Service – 05/08/09

Mental health patients in Walsall who need help getting a job are set to benefit after a Black Country mental health trust won a new contract.

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMHPT) has secured £173,000 to deliver a new employment service in Walsall.  

The funding, which was awarded by Walsall Council from the Government’s Working Neighbourhood Fund, aims to help disadvantaged people obtain short to medium-term work placements in order to increase their chance of finding a job.  

DWMHPT’s Walsall Employment Service was selected to receive the cash after beating off bids from a variety of other organisations.  

The new scheme is set to be launched in the autumn.  

Vicky Harris, the Trust’s employment service manager in Walsall, said: “We are delighted to have been successful with our tender to deliver this new service.  

“We have worked closely with our partners at NHS Walsall and Walsall Housing Group who supported our bid, which will see mental health service users benefit from receiving work experience and training from a variety of employers.

“We are aiming to secure placements for around 50 people which will each last six months on average.  

“Our service works with people who have experienced severe and enduring mental ill health to assist them with a range of work-related ambitions such as finding employment, securing a voluntary placement, attending college or writing CVs. 

“The new funding will help us build on the work we are already doing in supporting service users to get into work, as well as enabling people to develop new skills in order to achieve their employment goals.”  

Deputy Leader at Walsall Council and cabinet member for regeneration Councillor Adrian Andrew said: “This is a positive move that will improve support to people using mental health services.  

“It is one of a broad range of initiatives to help the unemployed being managed by our economic regeneration team working with a wide range of partner organisations.”