Mental health blog series: Michael

Friday, 2 October 2020

We love hearing updates from our job seekers and seeing what they can achieve with the right support crew backing them up. We recently heard from Michael, who after 5 years of unemployment and hospital treatment, connected with EPIC and found his dream job in administration.

This is just one of many personal blogs we are sharing this National Mental Health Month. We have already shared Rebecca’s story about her experience of living with complex post-traumatic stress disorder and working as a paramedic.

By reading different stories about various mental health journeys we hope to demonstrate that mental health can affect anyone at any stage of life. Mental health isn’t something you should be ashamed of and there is no one right way to access support.

Michael’s story

When I left my previous Job Network Provider I was frustrated after being unemployed for five years. I was glad when EPIC Assist was just across the road from the Indooroopilly Mall. When I walked into EPIC Assist my self-esteem was exceptionally low, after not being able to land an interview in a long time. The Indooroopilly team at EPIC Assist assuaged my anxiety by reassuring me that their Job Network Provider catered to people with disabilities, both mental and physical.

Within two months of registering with EPIC, I had an interview. To help with my anxiety EPIC Assist took me clothes shopping for interview clothes. They also drove me to the interview and made sure that I was fully prepared for any questions that might arise. Shannon was very warm and accommodating that I instantly had a rapport with her.

When I heard that Shannon was moving from the Indooroopilly office to the Lutwyche office, I started to feel anxious again. I asked EPIC Assist if it was appropriate that I moved with Shannon, as part of having obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) change is highly stressful. I felt a wave of relief wash over my body when EPIC Assist said that I could move to the Lutwyche office. Also, as I reside in Kangaroo Point the Indooroopilly office and Lutwyche office are equidistant from my home. In fact, travelling to EPIC Assist Lutwyche is easier as it is only one bus ride away.

I am currently employed through the efforts of EPIC Assist. Another employee of EPIC Assist Indooroopilly, Charnea Dalgety, kindly drove me to and from an interview and sat in with me to totally calm my fears. I was successful in the interview; Charnea Dalgety was very helpful in my transition from long-term unemployed to gainful employment with Shine Cleaning Suppliers in Geebung. Today is the first payday from my employer, and I am looking forward to many more.

For anyone who is looking for an understanding and helpful Jobsearch Network Provider, I would strongly recommend EPIC Assist in your local area. There are always people who you will not have a rapport with, but with EPIC Assist they will allow you to shift from one consultant to another until you feel comfortable with a person.

Also, with EPIC Assist it was a huge relief being able to place all your anxieties and perceived disabilities at bay. I say “perceived” as EPIC Assist will show you how to put a spin on that to make it an “ability”.

For example, as a person with OCD, I am very orderly and systematic. To enter a workplace that seems to lack any sense of order, an OCD personality can help make it more efficient – which is positive in any position in a firm.

National Support Lines

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
  • Kids Helpline (up to 25 years): 1800 551 800
  • Men’s Line Australia: 1300 789 978
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
  • Q-life LGBTQIA+: 1800 184 527
  • Lifeline Text (6pm-12am): 0477 131 114
  • GriefLine: 1300 845 745

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