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Andrew's story: “Porchlight opened the door for me to work again”

Mental health doesn’t need to be a barrier to gaining employment

Finding a job isn’t necessarily straight forward when you struggle with your mental health.

It’s why we support people like Andrew, who has struggled with mental health for much of his adult life. In the past, he has been experienced bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

When we first met Andrew, he was unemployed but keen to work again. If you’ve been out of work for a long time it can feel intimidating getting back into employment, especially if you feel that your mental health is holding you back.

Helping Andrew back into work

It’s why we helped Andrew apply for a permitted work certificate. The certificate allows people with a disability, illness or health condition to do part-time work without their benefits being affected.

With the certificate, Andrew was able to find a part-time job with the NHS, supporting people who similar experiences of mental ill health. We helped him negotiate working hours that did not feel too overwhelming.

“Working gave me a lot more self-esteem. I was able to put what I knew about mental health recovery into practice.”

As Andrew started his new job, we continued to support him. Because the transition to work is not always straight forward, we continue to provide mental health employment support.

“My Porchlight worker was giving me a lot of encouragement and moral support. They really wanted me to succeed.”

A bigger role

After a while, Andrew was ready to take on a bigger role. We helped him find a new job with more hours at a mental health recovery charity. He’s also been part of several community mental health awareness campaigns and has written a book that he hopes will aid people’s recovery.

Andrew hopes to eventually return to full-time work, and we will continue to supporting him to do so.

“I believe everyone has got something to offer, and if they’re struggling with their mental health they just need the right support. Porchlight really opened the door for me. Now I live a more fulfilling life.”