One of our clients, who had been diagnosed with Schizophrenia from a young age, had always hid it from anyone close to him i.e. loved ones, workmates etc. He was working as a dispatch controller, which was very stressful. This led to his symptoms becoming overwhelming for him and being admitted to hospital. There would be a few months of calm that would be followed by a ‘veritable cacophony of madness’, which became a cycle that repeated itself over a period of 3 years. Within these up and down periods, he found that our Job Retention support was one of the constant things in his life.
Our Employment Specialist (ES) supported their client by negotiating different positions, work hours and sabbaticals. During one of the calm periods in his recovery journey, he discussed with our ES that he wanted to help people facing similar challenges to himself. Our ES put him in touch with a Mental Health Charity, who were recruiting those who have experienced mental ill health to support others. With the support of our ES, he got the job. This new role involved going to meetings, getting in touch with governing bodies to spread the word of what work the charity are doing, writing blogs and visiting seminars. This was a life he could only have dreamt of whilst he was unwell.
With the combination of the right medical care and our support, our client was able to function without his symptoms taking over. However, this was followed by him becoming furloughed and then made redundant.
At Employ-Ability we make it clear to our clients that our support is for the long term, which is what happened in this case. Our ES began to support him again, by searching for Support Worker roles, as he had previous experience in this area. Together, they found a role that our client had been crying out for. Our ES got in contact with the homeless charity to see if they could look out for his application and whether it was possible to offer him an interview. An interview was arranged over video call, so our ES arranged a few mock interviews to prepare the client for the real thing.
Our client got the job and is now a Support Worker for the homeless charity, looking after residents in a night hostel, supporting with Universal Credit Claims, general life skills and administering medication. ‘It’s the best, most fulfilling job I’ve ever had’ he said.
As a result of our support, his mental health is far better than when he first came to Employ-Ability, and he has learnt how to live and work with his illness.