Warren’s story

My name is Warren. I am a 34 year old man being treated for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). I have had difficulty due to intrusive thoughts and the anxiety that they entail. I believe that colleagues are thinking negatively about me all the time.

Never having settled into a job due to my problems, I had paid little attention to my CV and had grown accustomed to selling myself short. When I started receiving help, I was unemployed without furlough, due to walking out of my job because of anxiety.

With the help I received I was able to face the job search without the panic that I would normally have. I was shown how to make my CV more dynamic and look upon what I had actually done in previous roles in a positive light. This was more than I had realised. I was also shown interview techniques which held me in good stead. I steered away from clichés and felt much more confident.

I got the role I applied for – an interesting job as a test operator at a Covid-19 test site. This is a good role with a reputable company and there will be more opportunities available when the pandemic fizzles out.

I was also guided towards attaining my basic level two food hygiene certificate. This not only bolstered my CV but gave me a sense of achievement while I was unemployed, which was beneficial to my mental health.

The support I have received while I have been employed has been just as invaluable. I am still attending CBT therapy and am far from ‘fixed’, so problems still arise. But with the help and support I have either been able to contextualise my problems or create strategies to cope with them. This has been vital in helping me maintain my job and everything that comes with it.

I have battled alcohol problems throughout my life, and I feel strongly that the support I have received has really helped me contain that, as I am now five months sober.

My problems with fight or flight have led me to homelessness on one occasion and I feel that it could very easily have gone that way again. For this, I am very grateful for the service available and to my employment specialist, Dominic.

I would advise anyone to really try and engage with the service. There were a few times when I was going to drop out, through my own personal self-destruct patterns, but I put myself into position to receive help and my position is much stronger for it.

If you’re unemployed or having difficulties at work, support is available. Check if you’re eligible for employment support from Work Well.