Before using the service, I had been unemployed for 4 months. In January 2020, I undertook a Digital Marketing internship in Spain but had to come home early because of mental health issues. Since graduating from university in 2018, I have been an ESL Teacher (teaching English to Chinese students online and teaching English to Spanish students in a school and 1:1 private lessons). I have also done bartending, event stewarding and market research interviewing. I was referred to the service after receiving mental health care from the community team. I started using the service in June 2020.

While using the service I have received weekly phone calls to check up on my job search progress and to inform me of job opportunities. During the phone calls, we were able to map out a career plan which gave me a lot of hope for the future. I was also given feedback on my CV which helped me to tailor it for potential employers. I was given lots of information about opportunities in the local area. I sent forward applications to be checked before submission and I was given timely and generous feedback. We went through a ‘Surviving and Thriving at Work Toolkit’ which helped me to identify strategies to manage my emotional wellbeing in and outside of the workplace. It also helped me to identify things that my employer can do to help me maintain a healthy work and home life.

I have now successfully gained employment in my desired field. I am now a Digital Marketing Assistant for a company called Women Like Me, which helps women get into business. I also have better knowledge of how to approach my employer when falling ill.

Rachel Forsey, Melissa’s Employment Specialist:

Starting the journey at a pace set by Melissa was so important, assisting her to explore opportunities that were right for her, watching her regain her confidence over time. We would find employers together, discuss potential openings and after numerous meetings Melissa’s hard work has paid off. It has been great to see the number of opportunities Melissa has created for herself in such a short amount of time and seeing her find a really healthy work/life balance is fantastic to see.

Assisting Melissa as her Employment Specialist has been a real pleasure, she has shown great determination to rebuild her life after becoming unwell and being hospitalised due to her mental health, supporting her with her goals of finding paid work was one of her top priorities.