A new book highlighting the real-life stories of those impacted by severe mental illness has been published by a UK charity in an effort to turn the tide on the nation’s deepening mental health crisis.

Supported employment and training charity Landau operates one of the UK’s most successful Individual Placement Support (IPS) services and is a nationally recognised Centre for Excellence for the work it does to support thousands of long-term unemployed people back into work.

Now, by revealing the inspirational stories of some of the people it has helped in a new book called ‘Road to Recovery’, it’s hoping to reach more people in need and reduce unemployment levels among those with mental ill health and increase diversity in the work place.

Research shows that one in four adults nationally are recognised as having at least one diagnosable mental health problem and the impact of this on the British economy is estimated at £105 billion a year — a situation that Landau’s Chief Executive Sonia Roberts claims is ‘unsustainable’ and ‘unacceptable’.

“All too often people living with mental health problems experience stigma and discrimination,” she said.

“Many people struggle to get the right help at the right time and evidence-based care is significantly under-funded. The human cost is unacceptable and the financial cost to government and society unsustainable.

“This new book aims to highlight some of the inspirational success stories of the individuals that we have supported back into employment and give hope to others who find themselves in a similar situation.

“These are people who thought they had no future and no real prospects but through our intervention and targeted support, they are now positively moving forward with their lives.

“Having achievable goals, a purpose, and financial independence is absolutely crucial and supporting recovery through employment can have a remarkable long-term impact on a person’s life and their overall mental well-being.”

Based in rural Shropshire, Landau has a team of employment specialists working with individuals across multiple regions in England, Wales and Scotland.

Annually, it is supporting in the region of 3,000 individuals back into the workplace, many of whom have enduring mental health issues.

Earlier this year, the charity was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Promoting Opportunity to those facing social mobility barriers and in 2020 it became a Centre of Excellence for its IPS services as well as becoming the highest scoring RAND reviewed service in the UK.

The new ‘Road to Recovery’ publication tells the life-stories of 10 individuals suffering from long-term mental health problems and it’s hoped their journey will inspire others in need of help to make contact with Landau.

The free book, which can be viewed on Landau’s website, forms part of the charity’s ‘We See You’ campaign, which was launched earlier this year to raise awareness of invisible illnesses and drive greater diversity and inclusivity in workplaces across the UK.

The campaign also encourages other businesses to strive for greater workplace diversity and those interested can sign the We See You campaign pledge online on Landau’s website.