Job centres to overcome mental health barriers to work

The Press Pause to Play initiative was piloted in Swansea in 2014 Credit: PA

A Wales-based company is partnering with the Department for Work and Pensions to roll out an initiative in South Wales job centres. to get people with mental health problems back into work.

The 'Press Pause to Play' programme was piloted in Swansea towards the end of last year, helping people with anxiety and depression through a combination of psychology, physiology and neuroscience.

Run by a specialist stress and anxiety management company, the programme reportedly saw 50% of participants successfully run to work.

By partnering with the Department for Work and Pensions, the company - 'Start Smiling Again' hope to achieve similar results across Wales by rolling the programme out to a number of job centres in South Wales.

"We're successfully helping people get back into the workplace after enduring many years of being stuck in a rut. The results so far have been spectacular. For example, one lady was out of work for over a decade - she's now returned back to the workplace. "

David Rahman, founder & MD of 'Start Smiling Again'

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson welcomes the programme as a mark of the Welsh Government's promise to support people with mental health conditions.

"This scheme is not only helping jobseekers find work but is also informing wider government activity on mental health. Supporting people with mental health conditions is a priority for this government, and we have allocated over £43 million to pilot services which will help people with such conditions find and stay in work."

Justin Tomlinson MP