RCS and Able Futures are joining forces this week, launching an exciting and innovative new partnership to support the emotional wellbeing of people in work across North Wales.

Since its launch in 2015, RCS’s ESF funded flagship In-Work Support Service has supported nearly 4000 employed or self-employed people who are off sick or at risk of falling out of work because of a health condition that is impacting them in the workplace. The success of the service is based on a blend of talking therapies, practical advice and information on managing health in work at a time and place that suits the individual. The service is primarily aimed at employees from small to medium sized businesses where there is little or no occupational health support, and where staff are likely to lose out on pay if they have to take time off sick.

RCS’s Operational Director Ali Thomas says:

“The impact of In Work Support over the years has been immense, both for the people we work with and for their employers.  We face an ever growing demand for the service, not only from people who are off sick, but also from people who are simply finding it hard to cope at work. Our new partnership with Able Futures will enable more working people to access the support they need”.

Linking these services as a local delivery model will lead to an improved service offer for a greater number of employees, with a single point of contact making it easier for GPs, other health professionals and employers to signpost people to the support they need.

Any employed or self-employed people wishing to access support can contact In Work Support, who will invite them to an initial face-to-face meeting with one of a dedicated team of case coordinators – skilled listeners who will help to pull together a tailored support package to meet individual needs. Some customers will just need basic information on their rights or entitlements, others may want help with speaking to their employer about a health condition that is impacting on them at work, others may benefit from talking therapies, either individually or in a group. The case coordinator will listen to the customer’s needs and guide them through the support options available.

The partnership with Able Futures will allow support to be extended to a greater number of employees, including those from the public sector.

Able Futures is a nationwide specialist partnership set up to provide the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. The aim of Able Futures is to support people living with mental health difficulties have more good days than bad ones.

The service is delivered in Wales by Case-UK Ltd which was established in 2016 by ex-professional football player Ian Benbow, who himself has suffered poor Mental Health following a life changing experience in the workplace. Ian says:

“We all live and work within an uncertain world where anything can happen to anyone, anywhere.  Having seen the highs and lows of life that had an impact on my ability to cope in work, I came to understand it is ok to ask for help during difficult times. Working in Partnership with RCS will provide residents in North Wales with a coordinated approach to mental health support in the workplace”.