Zoi has been living and working in the UK since 2011 and between 2016-2019 she worked in banqueting in hotels and companies. Unfortunately, due to Covid, she was made redundant as the hospitality industry almost collapsed as venues were not allowed to operate. Zoi has been unemployed for 2 years now and has tried to find work.
During the first year of lockdown, Zoi found herself feeling lonely and isolated. Her mood was very low, and she started having panic attacks, lost her appetite and wasn’t sleeping very well. The fact that she couldn’t go out due to covid and having to stay in was affecting her mental health. Once Covid restrictions allowed her to go out for exercise, she took this opportunity and decided to start running and cycling in her local park as she knew this would make her feel better. Zoi also enrolled at college to improve her English when lessons in the classroom were allowed. She also applied to a local charity shop to volunteer and is still working there every Saturday. She said the volunteering experience gave her an employment opportunity, and also helped to reduce loneliness and isolation along with meeting good friends.
Referral to HeadsUp
Although she felt she was stepping in the right direction with her mental health, she still didn’t feel herself. She spoke to her GP and was referred to Vitaminds to work with an NHS therapist. Zoi expressed her desire to work but was finding it difficult due to her negative thoughts and low confidence. She also wasn’t sure how to start job searching or if her CV was any good. Vitaminds suggested HeadsUp.
Zoi said she didn’t know what to expect from HeadsUp but after her first meeting with her Peer Support Worker (PSW) she was amazed at the advice she was given. Not only for support in job searching for her wellbeing too. She attended an online workshop for confidence and wellbeing and felt more positive. She said her PSW has given her great emotional support and completing the “My goals session” has given her a direction.
Developing practical skills
After Zoi started to feel more confident, she was referred to a Development and Skills Officer (DSO) to support her with practical job searching, CV and interview skill pods. She said that working with her DSO has shown her how to revamp her existing CV so it’s ready to use and upload to job applications. The CV skill pod has given her so much confidence to adapt her CV for different jobs she is applying for. She found that completing the other skill pods such as job searching, CV, Interview skills and and questions have been so helpful.
Zoi shares her experiences
She said that ‘its ok to have worksheets, but my DSO talked me through and explained how to use the information. It embeds in your head rather than just being given a worksheet for you to do on your own.’
‘the HeadsUp program has been truly supportive[to her] by people with experience and a deep understanding of mental health.’
It has made her feel that she has progressed so much, as the steps are very clever and clear so she knew what she was doing and where she was with each session. She’s told her friends about the support she was getting, they couldn’t believe she was receiving help and it was free!
She said that ‘HeadsUp has lessened my anxiety and made me much more confident going out.’
Now feeling well within herself, she’s been able to job search and apply and attend an interview. Although she didn’t get the job, she feels that she would not have had the confidence to get this far, without the support from HeadsUp.
Zoi said ‘[she would] recommend HeadsUp because knowing my PSW has had her own mental health experience, has made me feel my wellbeing is better understood. My PSW understood me completely’.
Now studying for her GCSE’s and looking for her professional work in printing companies.
For more information about Vitaminds, click here (Add link) https://www.vitahealthgroup.co.uk/nhs-services/nhs-mental-health/