A brown dog, in the foreground, looks ahead at its owner, out-of-focus in the backgroundBindu* had been out of work for three years, having left her previous role due to difficulties in the workplace which led to anxiety and depression. She also experiences issues relating to trauma earlier in her life. Bindu wanted to get back into paid employment, but was really struggling and so was referred to us for support. She initially met with her Employment Specialist Recovery Worker (ESRW) to explore what she would like to do. Bindu found she was doing little with her time other than meeting her self-care needs and walking her dog, and struggled to find anything which motivated her other than her dog and the idea of getting back to work.

Bindu and her ESRW completed a Recovery Action Plan together, which identified the goals she would like to work achieve. These included completing a vocational profile to help her identify her skills and decide what she would like to do, building her confidence, updating her CV, and finally, finding paid employment. Together Bindu and her ESRW broke down these goals into small, achievable steps, and agreed to review her progress when they met again in a few weeks.

Completing the vocational profile helped Bindu to decide that she would like to develop her skills in administration, with a view to working in this area in future. Bindu had existing skills from her previous roles, including good communication and IT abilities, but she lacked confidence and found it difficult to muster enthusiasm. Her ESRW found a confidence-building course and suggested it to Bindu. This really helped, and as her confidence increased so did her motivation levels, as she felt reassured that she was making the right decision in moving forwards. After making contact with a local business, Bindu's ESRW supported her to meet with them to discuss the possibility of a work placement. Bindu was successful in applying for this, and the placement helped truly rekindle her skills and confidence. Building on the placement, Bindu also started to apply for part-time paid administrative roles as ‘permitted work’ whilst on ESA, with plans to build up her working hours in the future as her stamina and confidence increase, and she progresses with her recovery.

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* This case study is from a real client of MHM, but the names have been changed and the photo has been staged by an actor to protect their privacy.