"All of this help over two years was an invaluable stepping stone to building my confidence, finding work, and preparing to go back"Claire | Hull
In the begining…
Just over two years ago I was struck down with my second episode of paranoid schizophrenia and my world fell apart.
I’d left my job because I couldn’t cope. I had just spent 3 months as an inpatient at a mental health unit and was living in supported accommodation because I’d been left homeless and needed mental health support.
My doctor told me my brain function had deteriorated because of the schizophrenia and I was finding confidence and holding conversations difficult.
This was difficult for me because I had previously been an articulate and high functioning registered nurse and clinical specialist.
I committed a crime during my schizophrenic episode and now had a criminal record. I thought I’d never work again with a criminal record and a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.
Then I was referred to Working for Health.
How we helped you…
Here I met Charlotte, who reassured me that I could gain employment with a criminal record and a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. At first I didn’t believe her, but after a few meetings she built my confidence and taught me how best to discuss my previous problems with a prospective employer.
Along with this support, she found potential roles for me, offered practice interview coaching and was a friendly face when I went into the Working for Health office to use their computers to find work every week. This was invaluable because I was not socialising much at the time and didn’t have a computer to work on.
And when a new job offer fell through because of my criminal record, Diane supported me on the phone and guided me to bodies who could help and support me further. I wouldn’t have known where to go without Diane and her caring attitude gave me hope that other employers would look at me differently.
One day I went into the Working for Health office and was paranoid that I wasn’t as articulate as I used to be and wouldn’t find work. Ricky spent time to reassure me, and this boosted my confidence a lot at a low time.
All of this help over two years was an invaluable stepping stone to building my confidence, finding work, and preparing to go back.
Now after two years I have turned a big corner and have a new job and beautiful new apartment. Thanks to Working for Health I secured a well paid job as a registered nurse. I was honest about my past as Working for Health had advised. I don’t think I would have gotten the job without their help and kindness. I have been in my role for two weeks now and just received my first positive feedback from one of the ward sisters.
I am eternally grateful to Working for Health for getting me back to living a ‘normal’ life.
I’d like to reassure anyone who has been referred to Working for Health that there is a happy and rewarding working life after mental illness, and even a criminal record. Good employers are out there. And good people are more than willing to help you on your journey to new employment!