September 24, 2020 12.35 pm This story is over 38 months old

Sara Brewin: Supporting people to find rewarding paid employment

A dedicated service to help people find the ‘right’ work

We know that many people have been struggling recently with their mental health and may have also found gaining or retaining paid employment difficult.

In fact, 1 in 4 people will suffer from mental ill health in their lifetime and this can significantly affect their work and personal lives.

Maintaining a rewarding job and having a supportive employer can make a real difference in improving mental wellbeing, and that’s why our Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Employment Service is here to help.

Working as the Occupational Therapy Vocational Lead and Service Development Manager at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, has allowed me to lead the IPS team in supporting people with mental health problems to find and retain paid employment.

We accept referrals from the adult Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), the Early Intervention in Psychosis team, and from consultants within adult CMHTs who see outpatients.

Individuals who express an interest in paid employment will be matched with one of our Employment Specialists, who will then provide personalised support and guidance to find them an appropriate role.

We are passionate about helping others to find the ‘right’ work as this can help someone to develop social networks, build self-esteem, gain purpose in their day, develop new skills, improve their financial situation, and increase physical and mental activity.

So far this year, the team have been successful in placing over 60 service users in paid employment.

This includes Brian, who successfully joined LPFT as a peer support worker within the Louth adult CMHT in August 2019.

He has since obtained a place on the mental health nursing course at the University of Lincoln and is excited to start this October.

Brian had previously been unemployed for over 15 years due to illness and felt anxious about looking for jobs and returning to work.

Michelle from the IPS Employment Service helped with CVs, applications, interview preparation, reducing anxiety, building confidence, and providing general support.

Without the help of the IPS team, Brian said he would never have had the confidence to start his new career and added that his mental health is the best it has ever been.

We are thrilled for Brian and would like to say that it is never too late to build your skills and pursue your passions in a new role.

During the pandemic, our team have had to adapt to new ways of working and be creative to ensure that the people who access our service still receive support that meets their needs.

Our service continues to work closely with local employers across Lincolnshire to find suitable employment opportunities, which is a crucial part of the work that we do.

We are currently searching for more businesses to engage with us so that we can continue to help the people that we support, in addition to the local economy and employers themselves.

Employers using our service have benefited from finding new dedicated employees who have been expertly matched to the role by our team.

We also provide advice to these businesses, educate about mental health conditions, and explore the reasonable adjustments that may be required to aid individuals in their new positions.

If you are an employer with vacancies in the county and would like to be involved or find out more, please contact the IPS Employment Service via Sara at [email protected] or visit our website at

Sara is the Occupational Therapy Vocational Lead and Service Development Manager at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust