RSSB is one of the winners of a Department for Work and Pensions grant to help people manage their health conditions at work.
The fund will allow RSSB to trial a new independent service on behalf of the rail industry to support rail employees whose employment is at risk or made more challenging due to difficulties with their mental health. The aim of the project is to test how RSSB can help people working in the rail industry with mental health difficulties thrive at work.
The RSSB service trial, which is expected to run until February 2020, will deliver support directly to employees experiencing mental health difficulties and to rail companies to improve their confidence in supporting staff with mental health difficulties.
The primary target group is rail employees with mental health difficulties who are at risk of losing their jobs due to sickness absence and/or performance issues. Advice and work capacity support for the trial will be provided through a full-time mental health & employment support specialist recruited by RSSB with understanding of the rail industry. The specialist will work with individuals, occupational health services, HR and other mental health professionals to facilitate detailed work-role assessments and provide recommendations. The specialist will create a knowledge bank of rail industry roles and suggest common adjustments to assist.
Other winners include a new mobile phone app which aims to ease lower back pain by giving sufferers a personalised self-management plan and an app to help individuals understand signs of mental ill health, including access to a vocational rehabilitation trained advisor. The successful projects all aim to enable people to stay in work by helping them to manage their conditions themselves, making it easier to access advice and support.
A highly competitive grant, the DWP received 181 applications and RSSB was one of the 19 innovative projects to receive government funding.
The fund is the latest in a series of government measures which form part of a 10-year strategy to get one million more disabled people in work by 2027.