By Lesley Griffiths

MS for Wrexham

More and more people are recognising the importance of our mental health.

Earlier this summer, the Welsh Government launched a new scheme aimed at providing wellbeing support to people in the workplace.

The In-Work Support Service provides free and confidential access to therapeutic support for employees of small and medium-sized businesses, as well as those who are self-employed.

Being absent from work can quickly take its toll on an individual and their family but this initiative offers support to those who are absent from work with mental or physical ill health, encouraging them to return. Early intervention is key and anyone at risk of becoming absent from work will also be supported in the hope it will help them remain in work.

Under the scheme, people with a mental health or musculoskeletal problem will have rapid access to tailored occupational therapy, physiotherapy and psychological therapy services. People can contact the service and speak directly to a specialist adviser. A GP or employer (or any other interested party) may also signpost an employee towards the service.

The initiative is rolling out across the country and I am pleased Wrexham-based Phoenix Counselling Group has recently secured the contract to deliver the scheme locally.

Phoenix was founded by RAF veteran, Chris Nelson and ex-professional rugby player, Rhys Williams. Ken Skates MS and I met Chris and Rhys towards the end of last year and both recognised counselling changed their lives for the better.

After becoming professionally trained therapists, they created Phoenix Counselling Group, with the overriding aim to help as many people as possible. Phoenix has been set up as a social enterprise in order to help make counselling more accessible to those who struggle to access is privately. By working closely with businesses, they hope to provide mental health support to employees that need it.

Securing the contract for the Welsh Government’s In-Work Support Service is ideal as the scheme compliments their principles perfectly, offering free support and training directly to businesses in the private and third sector, who often lack access to occupational health services.

The Welsh Government has invested £8m to ensure this service is available throughout Wales and the work undertaken by Phoenix Counselling Group will provide valuable support to people in Wrexham, ultimately helping create healthier work environments.

If you’re a constituent in Wrexham and there is something I could help you with, please do not hesitate to contact me via email: or call 01978 355743.