World Mental Health Day: Employment and mental health

World Mental Health Day blog series

Employment and mental health

by the Individual Placement and Support Employment team at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust 

As an IPS (Individual, Placement and Support) Employment service at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust we support people with long term mental health conditions to find paid employment across Bradford, Airedale Wharfedale and Craven using the evidenced based IPS model.

We aim to get people into competitive paid employment focussed around their interests which is great for people’s wellbeing. Getting back into employment can be vital to someone’s recovery, including a much-improved quality of life.

Our team are really passionate about supporting people to make those steps into employment. A figure that jumps out to us is that 70-90% of people with mental health issues would like to work, with only 37% of those in paid employment – for those with severe mental illness that number drops to just 8% (IPS Grow).

We provide a personalised plan to people in the service, tailored to their individual preferences, supporting them to identify their employment goals and create a realistic employment plan. This includes help with writing a CV; help disclosing a health condition to employers if they choose to; work related benefits and much more.

If you’re currently looking for work and need some top tips for getting your CV together try the following:

• Make it unique
• Highlight your strengths
• Tailor your CV to match the job
• Check your contact details!

We’re really proud of our service and the difference we’ve been able to make to people’s lives. In the past we’ve supported people into roles in healthcare, administration, trade jobs such as decorators, teachers, managers, catering and starting their own small businesses.

The IPS Employment service is designed for people accessing secondary mental health services if they are not accessing secondary mental health services, we can refer them to The Cellar Trust who we work in partnership with. We also work closely with a number of partners including Jobcentre Plus to enhance the support offered to our clients.

Further information on IPS is available

World Mental Health Day: Music therapy in mental health

World Mental Health Day blog series

Music therapy in mental health

by Katy Grainger, Music Therapist for Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust 

Ever belted out a ballad and instantly felt your mood lift?

I am a Nordoff Robbins Music Therapist, and I have worked with Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust for the past 9 years providing a range of individual and group music therapy sessions for people with mental health conditions.

Together we have started up Lynfest and Lynfrost (festivals which take place at Lynfield Mount Hospital). We also run jamming sessions and co-create music-dramas with a service users and staff (some of these have even been ‘on tour’ to other hospitals and performed on local radio).

The music therapy sessions involve active music making and listening in a variety of different ways – this could be playing a variety of easily accessible instruments, singing, rapping, and sharing music we enjoy.

Sessions can really help service users in a number of ways, from increasing confidence and self-esteem, enabling people to build relationship with each other in a non-threatening and creative environment, through to building skills, nurturing creativity and giving a place for self-expression.

Our Lynfest and Lynfrost (the winter edition!) give everyone an opportunity to play a part and be involved in different ways, whether as performer, organiser, supporter or as audience. They help to build a sense of community and togetherness, and foster skills of collaboration, teamwork and acceptance and appreciation of one another.

Playing and listening to music is great for your wellbeing – I’d encourage anyone to give it a go!

World Mental Health Day: Working from home

World Mental Health Day blog series

Working from home

by Courtney Briggs, Trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner at MyWellbeing College

How I Look After My Mental Health Whilst Working From Home During The Pandemic

1. ROUTINE! I have a routine for the day. Working from home can cause you to feel unmotivated, and it can be easy to develop a habit of just rolling out of bed ten minutes before you’re due to be online. But to help me mentally and maintain motivation, I make sure I get up an hour before I start work to have breakfast and shower. I fit in regular breaks and schedule some outdoor time to get fresh air.

2. WORK MODE! I put on ‘work clothes’ and make sure, as easy as it is, I don’t spend the day in my comfies. I work in a different room to the one I relax in (thanks to my big brother moving out, his bedroom desk has become my new office space). Putting work clothes on and creating a home office helps me to get into work mode, and switch into home mode at 5pm where I shut the door on my homemade office and put my loungewear on.

3. COLLEAGUE CATCH UPS! It can be isolating and lonely working from home without the usual hustle and bustle of an office. I have started video calling colleagues whilst working and having each other on mute to continue with our work. Just having them there on video can make you feel much less alone, and between calls to clients you can have a quick chin-wag to break up the day. I also make sure I attend work huddles which is where we catch up and have a wellbeing check in with our team members. We tend to go through the ‘end of day checklist’ also which a good way to appreciate hard work from the day and leave difficulties behind.









4. ME TIME! I schedule in ‘me time’ for at least half an hour a day where I’ll carry out some sort of self-care activity, usually just after finishing work. My favourite to do at the moment is jigsaws, which my grandad kindly passes down to me when he’s completed it. Having this time for myself helps me switch off from what I’ve been doing at work.

5. BEDTIME RITUAL! I am strict with myself when it comes to bedtime. Around 9pm I’ll put my phone on charge at the other side of my bedroom so I’m not having screen time before trying to sleep. (I also set my alarm on my phone so in the morning when it goes off, I HAVE to get out of bed!!). I then read my book until I feel sleepy. Lastly, I put a meditation on (usually a progressive muscle relaxation) to send me to sleep and unwind – Headspace is an amazing App for this! For a lot of people, the pandemic has caused a huge disruption to their sleep, so having a strict routine at bedtime can help you keep a consistent sleep pattern whilst also ensuring the quality of sleep is good.






I hope my little tips help you keep happy and healthy!

Courtney x