Demolish Mountains to Open New Paths
With a university degree, a post graduate certificate and a successful teaching experience in China and Japan, Mary Beth thought her future was on track. However, when she returned home, she was faced with challenges that made finding employment difficult.
She had always struggled with anxiety, but after returning from abroad, her anxiety and stress worsened. "It was to the point where I was afraid to leave my home because I feared I would have a panic attack," she recalled. Around that same time, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a physical illness that made it extremely painful to stand for more than a short period of time.
After months of struggling, Mary Beth was eventually admitted to a three-month treatment program at a local hospital where she learned strategies to cope with her anxiety. She finally felt ready to look for employment again. She found work in a coffee shop, but only stayed a week due to the overwhelming pain she experienced from standing. After applying to many jobs on her own and barely receiving a response, she looked for additional help.
After previous experience using Lutherwood's Resource Centre, she decided to seek employment support at Lutherwood's Cambridge location. She met with an Employment Advisor who helped her update and improve her resume and cover letter, gave her valuable and up-to-date knowledge of the labour market, and offered advice on what employers look for when hiring. She was then paired with a Job Developer who helped connect her directly with employers. A short while afterward, Cambridge Mitsubishi interviewed her for an administrative role and she was the successful candidate.
For Mary Beth, seeking help was worth it. "The staff at Lutherwood are always in your corner to help you achieve your goals," she said. "Even if I had a bad week, my Employment Advisor would call to ask how I was doing and to make sure I wasn't getting discouraged in my job search. And it's comforting to know that they are still there for me and that I can touch base and help ensure my employment is stable and I am successful at my job." She is also grateful that Cambridge Mitsubishi is very understanding of her physical illness and allows her to work at a pace that is comfortable for her.
Mary Beth wants others in her situation to know that help is out there. "No matter how hopeless and alone we may be feeling, there are organizations like Lutherwood that want to help," she concluded. "It doesn't matter how severe the barrier you are facing is, there is always support to help you overcome it. Once you seek help, you can start achieving your goals."
|Read more from our 2017 Community Report here.|
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"I am in awe of the courage it takes for someone with a mental illness to get out of bed and just try again; even when life feels impossible. Mental illness is isolating. I want to thank Lutherwood for being there and helping my daughter. I am so grateful, and so proud to be her mom."