I was introduced to George by his Mental Health Recovery Worker John, when he was transferred from the General Personal Helpers and Mentors Program (PHaMs) to PHaMs Employment services. George advised that he had not been employed in a paid position for 30 years, but that he wanted to work towards gaining employment. George signed up with a local DES provider and together we supported George to address the barriers that stopped him from gaining paid employment.

George identified that he did not feel he wanted to undertake work experience and only wanted paid employment. George gradually came to realise that work experience would allow him to demonstrate how he performed in a team environment, which was important in gaining employment. George took on one day a week work experience. At the end of the first day I contacted George to ask what he thought about the work place and if he enjoyed the work. George advised that he was surprised at how much he enjoyed the job and said he was looking forward to going again next week.

Following his 2 weeks work experience, the employer advised that George was one of the hardest workers on the line and they commended George for picking the hardest part of the line to work on. They further advised that they would be happy to put George forward for a position which might be coming up soon. Immediately the change in George was noticeable in his enthusiasm and confidence. George later attended a gardening group with PHaMs General. His former Recovery Worker John advised that George was a different man! That his confidence had grown and that at the group he was even encouraging the other men to follow in his footsteps by telling them that; if he can do it so can they.

George has since advised that was now working every week; over several shifts as they become available. He is now saving to fix his car.