CNWL Employment Service Hillingdon:
Shanise’s Recovery Story (September 2021)

I first became unwell in 2018. There was increased stress in my personal life, I couldn’t get to grips with reality and I was feeling really confused with my thoughts; it was all really overwhelming and I was struggling to cope at work. My employer was not supportive, I was getting very uncomfortable with my colleagues, and an incident at work was a further contribution to my stress.

I was admitted to Riverside, spending over a week there and then received support from the Home Treatment Team.  This was a very frightening period in my life, not knowing if I would be able to get out of hospital and carry on with life.

During an outpatient appointment with my psychiatrist, I discussed getting my life back on track, wanting to get back into work, and wanting to have something meaningful in my life.  I was told about Employment Services and self-referred to them.  I met with my employment specialist (ES) on a regular basis; she helped me with my CV, looking at the layout, adding to it, and adapting it according to the various job roles I applied for.

We discussed different ways of job-searching and I was confident searching independently as well as during our sessions.  My ES went through interview questions, and we carried out mock interviews too.  She told me about job opportunities with the health service for admin support at Covid vaccination centres.

We discussed the role and what it entailed.  My ES supported me with the online application, submitting the ID documents and then provided me with in-work support.  She gave me a copy of the “Surviving and Thriving” booklet; we went through it, talking together and writing my feelings down.  I got some useful tips on managing my personal and work life.  I was referred to Smart Works for interview coaching and obtained interview clothes.

Work gave me structure and routine; getting up in the morning and having something to look forward to was so important to me.  I met some lovely people and made friends; this helped with my confidence, and I felt a connection with others again.  The extra finance meant that I was much more independent and able to do a lot more too.

I don’t have symptoms of psychosis now.  Although the anxiety and worry that started when I first became unwell remains, I am able to better manage it now.  Recovery College courses really helped. Meeting others with similar experiences and being in a comfortable and safe place where I can share my experiences have really helped.  I gained some useful tips to use in everyday life.

I still find it difficult to talk about what happened; I have accepted it, and am so much more hopeful and optimistic about my future.  I am making choices that suit me best; I am starting a course with a local Adult Education provider in September and continuing with volunteering at a local charity shop; I feel I am a part of my local community.  I want to continue working in the health service, and I also want to work with the Recovery College.

The future isn’t scary anymore, its looking bright!

Individual Placement Support (IPS)


Jan's Story >

Just before the pandemic I lost a job I was invested in, experiencing unemployment, and then additional loss. Living with depression and low esteem, I was then supported by an Employment Specialist back into meaningful and rewarding employment – twice!

Cleveland’s story >

My mental health issues started in my 30s and I have spent the time since trying to manage and overcome these changes, which have impacted every part of my life. I felt deeply depressed and that I had totally lost control...

Bina’s story >

We began our journey many months ago. At first, we worked on the CV and had regular meetings. Then we started applying for jobs regularly. My Employment Specialist (ES) helped me get started with the Indeed and Total Jobs websites...

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