John’s Workable N.I. Experience

I suffered a number of panic attacks in November 2021.  I felt unable to attend my work, although I was able (at my own suggestion) to continue to work from home.  I made attempts to return to work, one time a week after the initial panic attacks, then after the Christmas holidays, but on both occasions was unable to do so.  While there was no pressure from my employer (a school) to return, I felt it would be necessary to do so at some point.  However, it became clear that this was not something I was going to be able to manage on my own.  Initially I tried counselling, but this wasn’t suitable.  It was clear that the issues I had related to the return to work, and weren’t ‘deep’ enough for counselling to be effective.

At this point, the school bursar suggested contacting the Cedar Foundation, as that organisation had been used by the school for other employees in the past.  It was in this way that I was put in touch with Supported Employment Solutions, and in turn my Employment Support Officer from Action Mental Health.

Dealing with Supported Employment Solutions was both professional and pleasant.  The relationship I had with my Employment Support Officer was as much based on developing a personal side as it was putting in place a programme of professional assistance, and I couldn’t have been happier with both of these aspects.  That programme was delivered thoroughly and straightforwardly, perfectly matching my requirements. I recognise that the issue I had was not complex, but it needed to be solved.  Supported Employment Solutions put me on a straight path to solving it.  I have returned to work, and have come back fully engaged and (hopefully!) contributing effectively to the workplace.