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Mental health 2019 - Partner Profile - Able Futures

Updated: Jul 16, 2019


Who are Able Futures?

Able Futures is a nationwide specialist partnership led by Ingeus, delivering the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.


In August 2018 Able Futures began supporting people living and working with mental health difficulties, in order to help them cope better and move forward to a more dependable future. We also provide information and advice to employers and providers of apprenticeships who want to demonstrate their commitment to helping people with mental health conditions in the workplace.


How has Able Futures improved people’s mental health in the UK?


Able Futures give individuals support from a mental health professional who works with them for up to nine months to form a plan for improving their mental health. Known as a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant (VRC), they will spend time with each individual to understand the mental health issues that are affecting their time at work and then create a support plan that is tailored to the individual’s needs.


Through regular meetings and telephone catch-ups, their VRC can also provide information and advice on ways the participant could improve their mental wellbeing at work and which organisations could further help them to tackle any problems.


Able Futures also provides education and advice to employers and apprenticeship providers so that they can improve their response to mental health issues for their employees and apprentices.


What has been your greatest achievement to date? And were there any measurable outcomes that accompanies this achievement?

More than 1,400 people have so far received support for their mental health from Able Futures, with the advice, information and signposting each person receives being tailored to them and their needs. Our VRCs are all qualified and experienced mental health care professionals who are trained in dealing with all sorts of mental health conditions including everything from anxiety to sleep problems, with stress, depression and bereavement being just some of the many mental health issues which they are helping current participants to deal with. Able Futures is currently supporting individuals working in a huge variety of jobs including nurses, administrators, teachers, drivers, factory workers, security guards, managers and more.


Able Futures is also supporting employers across many different sectors and our relationships with NHS providers, local authorities and carer providers demonstrate how relevant the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service is to the NHS Five Year Forward View.


Our ongoing support for employers such as Leeds Teaching Hospital, Kirklees Council and Skills for Care, and the fact that Salus, the Able Futures delivery partner in Scotland, is based in NHS Lanarkshire as a provider of occupational health, safety and return-to-work services, means Able Futures has built a strong knowledge of the mental health challenges facing the healthcare sector. With more than 28% of our Able Futures participants so far working in healthcare, local authorities or charities supporting mental and physical health conditions, we understand the specific needs of individuals in this sector who are experiencing mental health issues that are affecting their time at work.


How many organisations / clients currently utilise the service / solution across the UK?


Able Futures has already supported more than 1,400 people and we are working with hundreds of employers and apprenticeship providers across England, Scotland and Wales to help raise awareness of how Able Futures could help their employees and apprentices.


Is there anything you would like to make delegates aware of ahead of the Mental Health 2019 conference on 26th September?


Able Futures is available to anyone in work, employees and self-employed people, who feels they need some help with their mental health and how it is affecting their time at work. Able Futures can help them plan how to address issues such as stress, anxiety or depression as well as other problems that are affecting how they feel.


Book time to talk to a member of the Able Futures team on 26th September when you’re attending the Mental Health 2019 conference. We can give some initial ideas about how Able Futures could help you and arrange next steps for embedding mental health support in your organisation.


In the meantime, further information is available at https://able-futures.co.uk and by calling freephone 0800 321 3137 from 8am to 10.30pm, Monday to Friday or emailing us at hello@able-futures.co.uk.


What do you feel are the key points delegates need to digest when considering a partnership with Able Futures?


For individuals, Able Futures is a mental health support service designed around each individual’s needs.

  • Support is available over the phone, through email or face-to-face meetings for up to nine months.

  • Within one working day of signing up an initial appointment will be arranged with a qualified mental health professional who will support the participant.

  • Individuals will be partnered with a mental health professional who will listen to the difficulties they are experiencing and then plan how they could address the issues, as well as flagging up additional support services that may be helpful.

  • For employers and apprenticeship providers, Able Futures provides resources and information on mental health at work including:

  • Education sessions on supporting people with mental health conditions in the workplace.

  • Advice on supporting a worker with a mental health condition.

  • A toolkit for mental health first aid.

  • Promotional materials to raise awareness of the easy-to-use Able Futures service with employees.

There is no charge for individuals, employers or apprenticeship providers to use this service, which is funded by the Department of Work and Pensions.


If you would like to learn more about Able Futures please visit https://able-futures.co.uk/

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