Client Success Story: Nathan

Mental Health Employment service

Nathan was referred to Enable with a diagnosis of Schizophrenia. He had worked in a few voluntary roles in the past but had never had a paid job. His goal was to work in an office doing an administration based role.

Nathan and his Employment Officer, Ruth, discussed in length the pros and cons of disclosing his mental health condition to any prospective employer. Between them, they agreed that this would be the best thing to do; to ensure that they found an employer that would support Nathan in his role and subsequently would get a motivated and committed fit for their vacancy

Nathan was successful in getting an interview with Telford Council and Ruth negotiated with the interviewer that she could accompany him at that interview. Ruth’s role was not to answer any questions on his behalf, but to be there for moral support and to help lessen his anxiety.

The interview went well and Nathan was offered the job. Prior to starting in his role, Nathan and Ruth held a joint meeting with Occupational Health, his line manager, his mental health worker and his Mother. At this meeting they were able to draw up an In Work Support Plan. As a precaution this identified the early warning signs of Nathan becoming unwell. As his Mum would be the most likely person to pick up on these signs, it was agreed that she would contact his line manager and Enable to ensure everyone was kept updated.

The group also put together a package of support to ensure that Nathan was able to adjust as smoothly as possible to the world of work, this included:

  • Staggering his hours to begin with, building up gradually over 6 weeks to his contracted hours
  • Identifying a work-place buddy who would help support Nathan with the non-task based aspects of working life (where to hang your coat, where and when to get a drink and have your lunch, making friends in the office etc.)
  • Scheduled regular reviews between Enable and his line manager.

The job was a success. Due to the support agreed prior to starting in the role, Nathan fitted in quickly to his new role. His line manager felt supported and prepared to pick up on any early warning signs of a deterioration in Nathan’s mental health – knowing exactly what to do and who to contact if this were to happen. In return Nathan has become a committed, hardworking and valued employee.

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