Read how self management was fundamental in the start of Stuart's employability journey.
Stuart is a former employee of Verizon. Stuart’s work was very demanding, but he was driven, committed and career focussed so embraced the challenges it asked of him and welcomed moves to London and Los Angeles.
In his twenties Stuart was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Stuart also suffered flashbacks to a painful time in his childhood which was later recognised as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It wasn’t until 2005 when Stuart was forced to recognise his mental health problems after suffering a breakdown, when everything finally caught up on him whilst he was living in the United States.
Although Stuart was exhausted and felt broken, he was aware that he had always had the symptoms and feelings associated with his younger self’s diagnosis but had kept himself going by supressing these parts of his self.
Having participated in treatment in America Stuart felt lonely, so returned to Edinburgh. However, this made him feel more isolated as he became reluctant to leave his flat in case he bumped into anyone he knew, so his mental health progressively worsened.
Stuart moved to Perth, where he now lives, he was referred to a psychologist and began to come to terms with his mental health. He was introduced to mindfulness, which, with much perseverance, is now a self management technique that Stuart finds very useful. The real turning point for Stuart was attending Mindspace, an organisation which offered him a space to feel connected in and learn through peer support.
Stuart’s Employability Journey
For Stuart, like many people, before they can even contemplate any route to employability they need to learn how to live well with their condition and effectively self manage. Daily life is still a challenge to Stuart but with the support of Mindspace and his Mindfulness Peer Support Group in addition to practicing self management techniques daily he felt ready to take on part time employment and began thinking of gaining qualifications in this area to progress in this field.
Once you have a good understanding of your condition, you can use that knowledge to put practices in place that help you to live well and get on with your life.
Stuart is working part time with Mindspace, Perth as a Mental Health Peer Support Worker and runs a weekly mindfulness practice group.
Stuart has started to undertake some formal Mindfulness teacher training with the goal of achieving a teaching qualification by 2020. Stuart hopes to finish his Level One training soon and start his level two next month.
‘My employability journey still encompasses me struggling every day, but I love giving something back. It took me ten years to find the right support and I am grateful to my awesome psychologist and my amazing colleagues at Mindspace.’