Unemployed Have Reason to Smile Again

Government takes on stress expert to get jobless back into

The battle to help long-term unemployed people with mental health issues back to work is stepping up.

A programme piloted in Swansea is now being rolled out into Job Centres across South Wales.

Start Smiling Again was developed by specialist stress and anxiety management expert David Rahman.

It has now been taken on by the Department for Work and Pensions to help long-term unemployed people with mental health issues back to work. 

The programme entitled ‘Press Pause To Play’ is being rolled-out across several Job Centres in South Wales.

The initiative has been developed, created and implemented by David Rahman, founder and MD of Start Smiling Again.  He was awarded the contract following a pitching process this year.

The pilot programme was trialled in the latter half of 2014 in Swansea.  From earlier trials, it was noted that about 50% of attendees returned back to work, after being unemployed for several years.

The Press Pause to Play eight-week course consists of weekly ninety-minute sessions, for people who have low self-esteem, low self-confidence, anxiety and depression.  The sessions involve a wide range of influences from disciplines such as psychology, physiology, neuroscience, philosophy and common sense practical solutions.  A unique feature of this course is that attendees do not have to disclose any personal information at any session.

The course focuses on three core areas:

  • Helping attendees to let go of the past;
  • Helping attendees to appreciate & value themselves; and
  • Helping attendees to create an exciting future with purpose & passion.

David Rahman said: “This is an extremely exciting time to be in partnership with the DWP.  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.  We’re hoping our innovative model can be upscaled and rolled out across the UK.”

Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People, added: “This excellent scheme is not only helping jobseekers find work but is also informing wider government activity on mental health. Combined with the recent naming of Swansea as the UK’s first Disability Confident city, it marks out South Wales as part of the country truly leading the way on mental health.

“Supporting people with mental health conditions is a priority for this government. We have allocated over £43 million to pilot services which will help people with such conditions find and stay in work and are determined to continue building on the progress made.”

David Rahman has a decade of life coaching & therapist experience, based in Cardiff and Harley Street, London.  He has painstakingly researched, piloted and delivered the innovative Blueprint Therapy & Coaching model, which has been adapted for Press Pause To Play.

It helps individuals to move forward with confidence so they can genuinely start smiling again.  David’s approach is to understand each unique client, recognising where they need help by using Blueprint Therapy & Coaching, rather than medication, to help turn their life around.


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