If you are lucky enough to meet Adrian today working in the Collie Family Centre in Western Australia, you’d find him unrecognisable from the Adrian who first walked into our atWork Australia Collie office looking for work in late 2018.
When he first presented to atWork Australia and to his Disability Employment Services Job Coach Tonia, Adrian was struggling with a significant psychiatric disorder. He was estranged from his family, socially isolated and trust issues meant he was unable to connect with or make new friends.
At the time, Adrian was living with his partner and her children. But, with very low self-esteem and finding communication difficult due to his disability and social isolation, the relationship was strained. Adrian was worried that a separation would render him homeless.
Tonia could see that the lack of social support in Adrian’s life was having a particularly detrimental effect. She set about getting to know Adrian and building a trusting rapport – she would be there for Adrian to talk to and would help him through some very dark days. Adrian responded positively to the support; he attended every meeting with Tonia without fail, even when he was stressed or upset.
Seeking to provide further support to Adrian, Tonia reached out to the Collie Family Centre to arrange some counselling sessions for him. After a few of these sessions, Tonia encouraged Adrian to consider volunteering at the centre as a way to build his skills and get back into the work environment.
Adrian responded positively to this idea and began to volunteer, then started to offer suggestions at the centre, such as setting up a food shelf to help people in need in Collie. The centre then asked if Adrian would run a Men’s Group, and though nervous, Adrian was also excited at this prospect.
Only a few days after this, the Collie Family Centre Manager phoned Tonia to say that they could offer Adrian paid employment. Adrian was so delighted with this offer that he couldn’t hold back the tears of happiness.
A few months on and Adrian is a new man. His counselling has continued, the work is providing a sense of self-worth, and things are better at home.
“I am so glad that I signed up with atWork Australia,” says Adrian. “They have been incredible to me and have been very helpful, understanding and caring. I thank Tonia for everything she has done in helping me get my life back on track.”