I started the Workable programme after being off work for about 10 months after having a back operation. This resulted in me feeling very ill with vomiting/nausea, fatigue and anxiety. I was very nervous about going back to work as I was still not fully well and was concerned that I would not be able to keep my energy up to do 4 full day’s work at an acceptable standard (having also suffered from poor concentration/‘brain fog’) and become ill again. I was recommended the Workable programme by a colleague.
It was great having that support from someone impartial but with the right skills and experience, who I could go to with any worries or concerns on anything that might prevent me staying in work. My Employment Support Officer, Robert, was a great listener and very personable and understanding. He made me feel I am not alone and I was lucky in that the same time I went to him, I was offered CBT through the Belfast Trust which has been extremely beneficial. This was something that Robert also made me aware that I could have accessed through the Condition Management Programme that can be arranged through the Workable programme. I also got sessions of reflexology, which was very relaxing, and provided some time out for myself. There are also plenty of other services Workable can help access, including a dietician, physio etc.
I cannot believe where I am now. I have been back to work for over a year and have even felt enough energy to take on some casual work working with animals which I find very therapeutic. My confidence has also greatly improved, probably more than before I became ill! I am grateful to Robert and the programme for being there for me and would recommend to anyone who has been off sick or struggling to stay in work due to health issues.