Created on 19 October 2022

Meet Connor from Clacton

I had finished school and 6th form and was working as a customer assistant at my local Coop for few months. My anxiety and depression were starting to get bad, and I felt that my boss didn’t really understand, so I left my job. Feeling low, I went to the doctor who put me on antidepressants to help with the depression and anxiety. I shut myself away at home feeling depressed and completely in limbo.

I am close to my cousin, and they suggested going with them to travel for a bit and see our extended family. Even though I was anxious about going out again, it felt good to get out and be with family. But once I came home I started to feel bad and useless again. I felt I should be doing something. My Mum said to sign on and maybe they would be able to help with getting back into work. I knew that doing nothing was making me feel worse.

Referral to HeadsUp

I signed on at the Job Centre and my work coach helped me to attend different programs recommended for my anxiety, such as ‘Managing Anxiety’ with Adult Community Learning. After chatting to the tutor, from the college and explaining how I wanted to do something, but my anxiety is holding me back, she recommended HeadsUp.

I was a bit worried about joining as I didn’t know what to expect and the thought of meeting new people made me feel very anxious. The tutor was brilliant and helped me think about what I would gain and that I had nothing to lose from giving it a go. I knew I wanted to get more support and knowledge about how to do “stuff” such as interview support and how to create a CV. I think doing the managing anxiety course and talking with the tutor, gave me the confidence to join.

Meeting my Peer Support Worker

After meeting my Peer Support Worker (PSW) from HeadsUp we decided to work on my wellbeing first, and they put me forward for a Wellbeing Workshop. I was nervous to attend as it was online, but it was good. It made me feel able to break things down and look at different aspects of how I am feeling. It helped me look at the positives rather than focusing on the negatives. I was able to recognise when I’m having a bad day and how to move on.

Working with my Development and Skills Officer (DSO) was amazing. We met online over Teams each week which helped my confidence as it was kind of face to face and not just over the phone. It increased my confidence using Teams in case I had an interview online. We did job searching and job applications together. They taught me how to use the interview STAR (Situation, Action, Task and Result) technique so when answering interview questions, I have an idea of how to structure my answer. This made me feel good about myself and my nerves got better as I grew more confident.

HeadsUp put me in a Good Mood!

I started going to the gym with family just to get out more, and I was encouraged to talk to people. My Mum could always tell when I’d had a session with HeadsUp, as I would be in a good mood afterwards!

Looking back, I am most proud of applying for jobs and keeping my confidence, even when I don’t get a response. I know not to take it to heart. I am currently working towards enrolling with the Prince’s Trust and I’m happy about joining but a bit anxious as to what’s involved.

“I would say to others who are in the same position as I was, is 100% to use HeadsUp and I would recommend them. You get a proper foundation and you’re able to use the information from the sessions for the future. You get help in many ways and feel supported”.


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