New body to tackle mental health issues

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Anxiety. Pic © Sander van der Wel Wikimedia Commons

Anxiety. Pic © Sander van der Wel Wikimedia Commons

As many as one-in-three people experience mental health illness in Liverpool, with UK health costs reaching more than £1,000 per employee each year.

That’s according to InFocus, a newly-formed company hopes to support the 90% of sufferers out of work due to mental ill-health who aim to be in employed, but face barriers in entering the workplace.

With more than 91 million working days lost every year in the UK due to mental ill-health, the economy loses out on over £26 billion annually.

InFocus aims to create a more socially responsible society, providing individuals with the services they need to build confidence, skills and experience.

The hope is to enable those suffering mental ill-health to re-enter the workplace, or in some cases, take up employment for the first time.

Managing Director Daniel Rogers told JMU Journalism: “The rate of mental health illness is higher in Liverpool than in any other part of the UK, and with Liverpool’s positive approach to new initiatives and innovations we felt this was the ideal place to start a business that adopts a unique approach to mental health.

Video report by Hannah Perselli, JMU Journalism TV

“We’re confident the people of Liverpool will want to back our plans and we’re excited to work with individuals and businesses throughout the Merseyside region.”

Activity groups are offered to participants to build confidence, while forming new friendships focused around a shared interests, including photography groups, snooker groups and more. This is in addition to training opportunities and workshops to prepare people for employment.

By working closely with businesses, the scheme promotes positive mental health within the workplace, while providing a better understanding of what employers need.

A variety of memberships with businesses are expected to help bridge the gap between mental health and employment by assisting them in ensuring their workplaces support employees in managing their own well-being.

InFocus operates on a not-for-profit basis, with all proceeds invested back into the business to support frontline services. It will be launching a range of services across Merseyside over the next 12 months.

About Stephanie Bewley, JMU Journalism