A new programme to initially help more than 5,900 people recovering from substance misuse and mental health conditions into employment will be set up in Wales thanks to a multi-million pound EU funding boost.
The £7.2m programme, which includes more than £4.8m from the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government, aims to support more than 5,900 people to overcome barriers to gaining and staying in employment.
It will initially offer support to long-term unemployed and economically inactive people over 25 who are recovering from substance misuse or mental health problems.
Building on the success of the EU-backed substance misuse peer mentoring project which ended in 2014, the new programme will provide intense peer mentoring and specialist employment support. It will also provide transitional support to participants who gain employment for up to three months after they start work.
Deputy Minister for Health Vaughan Gething said:
“We know that having a job is really important to a person’s health and wellbeing. Equally, mental health and drug and alcohol addiction issues can be a bar to being employed. There is strong evidence that unemployment can contribute to ill health and relapse.
Being employed can help people who are in recovery from substance misuse or mental illness, offering stability and an income.
This funding will provide peer mentoring and specialist employment services to help people to overcome these barriers and fulfil their potential in society.”