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'Positive Futures' for mentally ill

3rd August 2005

People with long-term mental illnesses in Northamptonshire are getting the opportunity to get back to work thanks to a council programme.

The Northamptonshire County Council's Employment and Disability Service has created 'Positive Futures' a scheme to guide people with conditions like severe depression back into employment.

Under the programme, which is the first of its kind in the country, candidates will get to help organise their lives for a job or training, achieve basic and IT skills, and to try out different jobs and placements.

Each step will be specially tailored to meet the needs of each individual with the service, community psychiatric nurses, mental health social workers and local staff on board.

The European Social Fund is funding the service for Jobcentre Plus and it is expected at least 50 people will complete the programme over the next two years.

Cabinet Member for Community Services, Rosemary Bromwich, said: "Going back into a job after a long time away can be extremely daunting * especially for someone with a mental illness.

"Positive Futures will help people with some of the most complex and difficult mental illnesses prepare to go back to work, with support at every step of the way.

"Helping people to live independent lives is one of our priorities, and this unique service will mean more people can achieve that."