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Government minister visits Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre

Minister for social exclusion Angela Smith MP visited the Southwark Works office at Elephant & Castle on Tuesday to learn about a partnership between the council and the South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre

The partnership between the council and health service has helped people with mental health conditions find jobs.

The visit to the Southwark Works office at the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre follows last week's Government report, Work, Recovery and Inclusion, which found that far more people with the most severe mental health conditions can work, and that employment is a key benefit to
their mental health and recovery.

"It is clear that public services must work together to get more people with severe mental health conditions into work, employers and the public must value the input of people with mental health conditions, and people with severe mental health conditions must have the clear aspiration and expectation to work," says Angela Smith MP.

Southwark Vocational Service and Southwark Works are leaders in providing mental health and employment services together, demonstrating the report's finding that it is the most effective way to help these groups find work.

Southwark Vocational Service at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust was set up in 2004. Their advisors, based in the Southwark Works offices, provide mental health and employment support tailored to each client's specific needs. The range of support offered includes career counselling, education and training, job searching and job retention support.

The service has helped over 800 people in Southwark. Most of these clients are in secondary mental health services.

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