Helping veterans into work

Our research into the employment needs of veterans has shown us that those with mental health problems may need additional support in getting back into the workplace. Thanks to your donations we have been able to fund a project that is making a huge difference in this area. Employ-Able offers one-to-one and group support to veterans with depression and other mental health conditions. The aim is to help every veteran progress towards employment, tailoring the support and pace to match each person’s situation.

Delivered by a team of mental health and employment support workers from SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health), the project is available across Scotland. Since it started in 2012, 200 veterans have benefited with 86 currently taking part.

Poppyscotland’s Employment Services Co-ordinator Dot Pringle said: “Employ-Able provides professional and dedicated support, which is also caring and focused. Veterans can struggle to deal with the stigma and symptoms of mental health problems and through Employ-Able we are seeing lives being changed for the better. A project like this costs around £100,000 to set up and without the generosity of supporters like you we would not be able to provide this much-needed service. Thank you.”

Employ-Able one-to-one support helps veterans to:

  • Alleviate concerns that mental health might be an obstacle to employment
  • Explore other barriers to work
  • Decide which career option to pursue
  • Find a job and keep it through on-going support

Employ-Able group support helps veterans to:

  • Overcome anxieties about working with people
  • Improve confidence

Ryan, 25, took part in Employ-Able and is now in work. Here’s his story:

“When I left the Army I went into a depression and got arrested pretty much as soon as I was discharged. I was referred to Veterans 1st Point by my doctor and was diagnosed with PTSD. I was then signposted to Employ-Able.

“Initially I was nervous meeting new people and my confidence was at rock bottom. I didn’t want to ask for help and I felt weak. My Employ- Able support worker Jenna made me feel at ease and we talked through my employment options. I wanted a trade and plastering was what I was most drawn to. Jenna looked into a plastering course for me and then helped me to apply for funding; she also set up a work placement with Xerus, which gave me the opportunity to try all trades. This soon turned into full-time employment and Poppyscotland helped with funding for the plastering course. I passed the course with merit and I am currently on a transition project which gives me six months to get up to speed and receive appraisals and feedback on my progress.

“If I had not come onto Employ-Able I think my life would be different and I would possibly be in jail. Working has helped to put structure in my life again and I thank Employ-Able for that.”

To find out more about Employ-Able click here

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