Kerry’s job with NHS Wales recruitment team
Mother of three Kerry Flower-Fitzpatrick was worried about returning to work and thought she might be judged for her mental health history. Now she has a job as a Recruitment Services Advisor for NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, and wants other people experiencing mental ill health to know they can also 'turn their life around' like she has.
Forty one year old Kerry, who lives in Swansea, suffered with severe depression and anxiety in 2013 and was unemployed for three and a half years before seeking support from Remploy.
Kerry said: “As tough as it was, going through a particularly difficult time helped me to see a different side of life and if anything it has helped me to be a better person and understand other people’s feelings.”
Kerry initially joined NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership on a work experience placement following a Remploy recruitment event. During her placement, a vacancy in the Recruitment team became available, which Kerry interviewed for and was subsequently offered.
Kerry said: “If you break your arm people want to sign your cast, but with people with mental ill health they don’t know how to react. The truth is people with mental health conditions are exactly like everyone else, they have the same dreams, the same aspirations, the same goals, they just sometimes need a little more time and care to reach them! I am so glad I gathered the confidence to go for this role.
She added: “My team at the NHS have been brilliant and supportive, those involved have helped me to move forward and encourage me to continue believing in myself, I really hope that in the near future, seeking help for a mental health problem can be seen as a strength not a weakness! I hope this helps to inspire people who have been in similar situations.”
Jodanna Beynon, Senior Recruitment Advisor for NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, said: “Since first meeting Kerry there has been a massive change in her confidence. Her commitment is second to none and she works to a very high standard. Having Kerry onboard has really helped the team with their workload, she fitted in seamlessly and is very well-respected by all her colleagues.”
From the outset Kerry was very open with her employer and the wider team. She said: "It was important to me so that they knew how to support me and had a chance to understand. For me to approach Remploy was a massive thing but they helped me throughout my journey back into employment, they listened and gave me the support I needed - I am eternally grateful for that!”
She continued: “I really want to inspire people, to give them hope and help them see that you can turn your situation around. It can be a terribly lonely place but I’m living proof that with the right help it is possible to turn your life around.”
Alison Davies, NWSSP Regional Recruitment Manager said: “Kerry is already inspiring those around her by sharing her experience and is very passionate about being there to help and support others. Recognising and supporting our staff during times of worry is very important to us and Kerry has made a personal difference for many members of our team. Kerry’s passion for helping is about to go further, assisting our Service Director to establish a dedicated Mental Health First Aid role working with managers and team members to understand what it means to live and work with mental health issues.”
For more information about Remploy Cymru go to: www.remploy.co.uk/remploy-cymru