"Working my way back to happiness?"

About: Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

(as a service user),

After discharge from hospital I took it easy for a bit and then got a break with Mind locally. A part time job. It was a leg up, a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately after three months they laid me off saying that there might be future paid projects to work on. But it's a cut in earnings all the same.

So what are the opportunities for service users post-discharge? More voluntary work? What again?

How do service users re-integrate into the community after leaving hospital?

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Responses

Response from Consumer Experience and Engagement Officer, Consumer Experience and Engagement Team, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your posting. We appreciate that you have taken the time to give us this feedback. This will be passed on to the relevant staff in the Trust to make them aware of these post-discharge problems that service users face when re-integrating into the community.

Response from Consumer Experience and Engagement Officer, Consumer Experience and Engagement Team, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Further to your comment the Director of Operations for Adult Mental Health is currently looking into this. A response will be posted in the next few days.

Response from Consumer Experience and Engagement Officer, Consumer Experience and Engagement Team, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

The Deputy Director of Operations for Adult Mental Health has given the following response:

I am sorry to hear that your opportunity of work with your local MIND came to an end. Reintegrating into the community after leaving hospital can be quite a challenge depending upon the individual's circumstances. Being in hospital indicates that a service user has been quite unwell and therefore is almost certainly receiving support from a speciality community team with an identified care co-ordinator. The care co-ordinator's role is to work with the service user to identify their individual needs and what should be included in their care plan. This comes under what is known as the Care Programme Approach (CPA).

The care plan is likely to include things such as what medication is needed and which people will work with the service user, for example a psychiatrist and a support, time and recovery worker.

The aim of the care plan is generally to help the service user to continue to get better and re-integrate back into normal life. This can include re-establishing social networks with friends and family, or rejoining the workforce.

Where possible work has many benefits to the individual, including increasing disposable income, as well as improving social contact and having a sense of purpose in terms of how time is spent. If employment is not immediately available then it is worth considering unpaid work or educational development. This is because the benefits of constructive or positive activity are very helpful to recovery.

Obtaining work is therefore a very good aim and your care co-ordinator can help identify methods and people to assist you towards achieving this aim. These can include local colleges, Job Centre Plus and support workers. Use of a Wellness Recovery Action Plan(WRAP)can also be very beneficial in helping you to identify key things which can help and maintain recovery. Your care co-ordinator can give you details about this.

I wish you well in your search for work.