Graham is 52 and lives in the Liskeard area. After the first Covid lockdown he was let go from his role as a deputy manager of a mental health rehabilitation unit. On top of that Graham was having to contend with a long-term back issue, with constant pain, even with pain-killing medication. Needless to say, Graham’s mental health took a knock and we all know how life can be really tough when a change comes along and we feel we’re not actually able to control it.
For 24 years Graham worked as a network engineer for BT. This was followed by 11 years working with the homeless in a hostel environment, then two years working in the community with the long-term homeless who had degrees of mental health and long-term addiction issues.
“I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety since my early teens, but I’ve always found work has helped me. I injured my back in my twenties while working for BT, leaving me with severe nerve pain and arthritis, which has also impacted on my mental health over the years.”
I felt there was a lack of understanding and support from my most recent employer, who was unwilling to make, what I considered to be reasonable adjustments, to help me continue working for them. That episode also had a severe detrimental impact on my mental health too, which dragged on over a six-month period.
Support from Positive People
At the beginning of December 2020, Graham joined the Pluss Positive People programme, through Cornish charity, Pentreath, which is a Positive People partner, that promotes good mental health through personal development, education and employment.
“I was encouraged with help to access courses and support to regain my self-esteem and to begin to believe that I could find meaningful work and thrive.
“I’ve been given hope and a belief in myself which I’d lost since that recent (negative) work experience.
Graham is now seeking work that will provide a work-life balance and he is looking forward to a new, positive chapter in his life.