RETURNING to work after a period of poor mental health can be a daunting task for anyone.
Thankfully here in Fermanagh, when low self-esteem and a fear of what others may think stops you from facing the world, services like ‘AMH New Horizons’ and people like Melissa Harpur are here to show you that anything is possible as long as you have the right support.
“As employment officer at New Horizons in Enniskillen, clients meet with me when they know they’re at the stage of being ready for employment,” explained Melissa.
“A large part of my job is to see where people are at with their mental health journey and to help instill confidence and boost self-esteem by getting people ready to transition into employment.
“Many of my clients have already went to school and have their qualifications, but because they’ve been out of work due to mental health struggles, many have lost confidence in themselves and don’t think that they’re capable of going back into an employment situation.”
While transitioning a client into employment is importance, New Horizons also works closely with transitioning people back into education and with the help of Melissa this particular service has built up a great relationship with colleges and universities for clients to reach their fullest potential.
“I was able to transition seven clients into education this past September,” explained Melissa. “This was significant and that’s not just young people, it’s people ranging from the age of 22 right up until their late 50s.”
When asked if she thought there was a long road ahead in terms of breaking the stigma that is attached to businesses employing an individual who suffers with mental health, Melissa told the Herald, “I think as long as people like myself and organisations like this are all out there actively working with businesses and raising awareness, then I think that we will get a step closer to breaking the stigma each day.”
To read more on this story see this week’s Fermanagh Herald. Can’t get to the shop to collect your copy? No problem! You can download a copy straight to your device by following this link https://bit.ly/3gOl8G0
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