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Employment difficulties can have a negative impact on our mental health, making us feel low, anxious, or stressed. So, in a number of our NHS talking therapy services, we also provide free employment support for anyone also supported by our Insight IAPT talking therapies.

Our employment advisers help people with writing CVs or cover letters; give support with interviews; provide advice and information about training, education, and voluntary work; advise people about employment practices or issues; and help people to get mental health support in the workplace.

Our employment advisers make a huge difference to the mental health and wellbeing of the people we support!

In Nottinghamshire, we work in partnership with Futures to provide employment advice – here is some fantastic feedback that our Employment Advisers received from the people they support!

Describe your situation before you started working with your Employment Adviser, what was life like for you?

‘Having worked for 26 years for a large company, I took a career break to care for my mum, who sadly passed away. Due to a restructure by my employer, I found myself unemployed.

Within a six-month window, my partner of several years also left me. This was all too much and I found myself the lowest I’ve ever felt, in a very dark place. I couldn’t think, function nor care or have any feelings. I felt numb and didn’t understand the point of living. I was frightened as I have never felt this helpless ever.

My daughter asked me to get some help, she could see I was not coping at all. I could not see a way forward. I had a few counselling sessions and managed to see that I needed to find work, to get back into the world. My counsellor offered me support from an employment adviser. The last careers advice I’d had was in the 1980s when I left school, I did not know what to expect.’

How did your Employment Adviser help you and what advice did they give you? Did they help you to overcome any difficulties?

‘It started by my sharing my current CV, which covered every job I had done over 40 years.

We discussed what type of work I had done, and also included the voluntary work I had also done. During our discussions I found that my preferred career option would be more people focussed, as that’s where my passion had always been.

I was looking at a career change and my CV would need to reflect this. I couldn’t see where transferable my skills were. My employment adviser explained how my experience, knowledge and skills could be used in a whole new career path. I had seen a job vacancy which I felt I wanted to investigate. Having looked further into the job, the role, what the business did, I felt very strongly that I wanted to apply.

Again, my employment adviser, seeing the job specification and knowing my skill base helped me to connect the two. It was at this point I felt that I could really do this. I applied for the job. I got an interview. My employment adviser sent me some interview training techniques, I worked through them and researched the company I had applied to.

I would never have believed in myself or tried to go for this role. I didn’t realise my skills from previous work and volunteering roles were all valuable and important. Without the support and guidance around how to prepare for an interview I would not have had the confidence I needed to do this.’

How have things changed for you since working with your Employment Adviser?

‘The support I was given was life changing and helped me get out of a dark place. I had lost any confidence in myself and had forgotten the good things I had done before in my work and volunteering. I was able to talk to someone who could see the values I have, my skills and my passion for caring for people. I was able to find a way to plan and regain hope and meaning for me. I could not have done this alone.’

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