When Julie first came to see BUSY Ability she had just gone through an incredibly tragic time with the passing away of her mother and her sister within three years of each other.
Having lived with mental health issues for many years, Julie, who is 61 years of age, had been seeing a psychiatrist every month for over 11 years but the passing away of her sister and mother had really taken its toll on her mental and physical health and she experienced a break down that saw her unable to work in the community care sector as a registered nurse.
Not working soon saw Julie’s mental and physical health spiral further, with the stress of bills and the lack of social contact that work had previously provided her.
Julie was referred to BUSY Ability, a Disability Employment Services provider and registered NDIS provider, to help get her back on her feet and into work. Julie was first referred to a Social Worker at BUSY Ability to assess her capabilities and to help get her ready for re-entering the workforce.
“When I first came to BUSY Ability, I didn’t expect the service to be so caring and the support was amazing. I was never made to feel uncomfortable. My social worker made me look at the whole picture, my environment and my emotions and really gave me support from a holistic approach”, Julie said.
Once Julie was deemed ready for work she was put forward for positions in the community sector again, in the care industry she had previously worked for most of her life. With support from BUSY Ability, Julie initially gained a position working for an in-home care company but found that the position was not for her as it involved more asset maintenance rather than supporting people. It took a lot of courage but Julie decided this position was not good for her mental health so she left, determined to gain a position where she could put her care skills and experience into practice. This proved to be a great move as she soon secured work with Blue Care and is now in a role she really enjoys, putting her nursing and care skills into practice.
A talented painter who has been painting most of her life, Julie also uses her artwork as a tool in her work, finding that by showing her patients her artwork this cheers them up and acts as an icebreaker. Julie even gave the team at BUSY Ability a beautiful picture of a sea turtle.
“Don’t believe age is a factor, it is not! I am 61 and BUSY Ability made me realise I could still work. I thought employers only want young people but this is not true, there are many industries looking for mature aged people with skills and experience.
“I want people to know that BUSY Ability staff really support you. They come to the interview with you, calm your nerves and genuinely care. You are also never alone between appointments, they always have time for a chat”.
Chief Executive Officer of BUSY Ability, Stacey Turnbull said, “We are so pleased to be able to support Julie back into working for the industry she loves. Mental health can affect one in three people in their lifetime and it is vital to have a strong community around you to help you get back on track. At BUSY Ability, the best part of our job is seeing the positive difference we can make in the lives of people, like Julie. We really love the sea turtle painting too!”
For more information on how BUSY Ability can assist people with a health, injury or disability into work visit www.busyability.org.au
Julie (pictured with her artwork) is back working in the healthcare industry, thanks to support from BUSY Ability.