Work and mental illness - Types of work
What types of work could I try?
There are several options you can try such as:
- part-time work,
- full-time work,
- apprenticeships, and
- employment projects.
We look at these options in more detail below.
Voluntary work is a good starting point for getting into work.
The following are things to consider about voluntary work:
- You don’t get paid. But you might get paid expenses.
- It can allow you to try out different roles and get a feel for what you are interested in.
- It can improve your chances of getting a paid job.
- It can be a good option if you have been out of work for a long time,
- or if you have a severe mental illness.
You can search for voluntary work by using the websites in this section.
If you work part-time:
- you work but don’t work full-time, so you might work for 10, 16 or 20 hours a week,
- you can ease yourself into work more slowly than you would in a full-time job,
- you will usually have to pay for lunch and travel out of the money you earn, and
- you can have the time to do other things during the day, such as:
- go to therapy appointments,
- do some extra training, or
- look after your children
Full-time work usually means working at least 35 hours a week.
If you want to do full-time work after a period off illness think about the following things:
- What made you unwell.
- Ways of reducing stress if that was a problem before.
- If you need a change of job or role.
- Any reasonable adjustments you want to ask your employer about – see here for more information.
- How work affects other areas of your life. This might be looking after your children or having time to do things you enjoy. This is known as ‘work – life balance’.
If you are self employed:
- you work for yourself,
- you might have your own business,
- you don’t work for an employer who pays you a salary,
- you can decide how, where and when you do your work, and
- your income might not be guaranteed in the same way as working for an employer.
You can set up a business in a number of ways, including as a:
- sole trader,
- partnership, or
You will have to think about how you will register, run the business and deal with any debts.
There are organisations that can give you information about self-employment like:
- Business Support - provides free advice about setting up and running a business, and
- Business Debtline - gives advice about dealing with business debts.
You can find contact details for these organisations here.
You can also find out more information about being self-employed here.
You might know the type of job that you want to do. But you might not yet have the experience, skills or qualifications to do the job.
An apprenticeship may be a good option for you.
An apprenticeship will give you the opportunity to:
- learn on the job,
- get qualifications, and
- earn a small wage.
You can get an apprenticeship in a wide range of roles, including agriculture, horticulture, health, public services and leisure.
You can contact the National Apprenticeship Service for more information. Their details are here.
You might have difficulties because of your mental health condition. If you do you might be able to get help from the Remploy – Supporting apprentices scheme. Their details are here.
You can find out more information about apprenticeships by clicking here.
You can find apprenticeships by clicking here.
There are employment projects in some parts of the country. Some of these projects offer jobs to people with disabilities.
You may get ongoing support from a caseworker.
To find out if any employment projects are available in your area you can contact:
- your care co-ordinator, if you have one,
- a Disability Employment Adviser at your local Job Centre Plus, and
- the organisations Remploy, The Shaw Trust, Steps to Employment and The Richmond Fellowship - their details are here.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays