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Employment with support from IPS job coaching

Hanna was among the first people to start in IPS job coaching in the IPS regional pilot of HUS Psychiatry and Uusimaa TE Office. In this article series, Hanna shares her experiences of IPS job coaching from her point of view.

“I am extremely conscious and kind. I am also fairly well-meaning, I try to think positively about everything although I keep joking that if you are a pessimist, you are never disappointed. A positive attitude has brought me far,” Hanna says and continues: “On the other hand, I can be quite nervous about things. Although I have got over the worst, I still get very nervous, especially if there is something different from normal or I go to a new job.”

Hanna’s family and animals are extremely important to her. She often meets the people close to her and likes to bake and prepare food with her mother. The family has several dogs, with which Hanna walks several kilometres every day. She lives in a house that she has built herself and in which the garden and the greenhouses keep her on the move according to the season.

Hanna is a mental disability nurse and a small animal carer. She has work experience in both fields starting from 1994 as well as experience of working for ABB and of different tasks in factories. In addition to her own house, Hanna has built a log cabin with a friend of hers. In the past few years, Hanna has been an expert by experience and a member of the client panel at HUS as well as working for the Finnish Red Cross and as a official in agility competitions. She has completed the Finnish Red Cross’ training for psychosocial support and a course for on call duties for first aid.

Hope from IPS job coaching

Hanna has just found a new job with the support of an IPS Employment Specialist. She left her previous job in 2012. She received rehabilitation allowance for almost 10 years. “Today, I no longer think about my illness every day. I take my medicines, but I don’t necessarily even think about what I’m taking them for,“ Hanna says. When looking for work and engaging in society, Hanna has realized that she is seen through the name of her illness. “When the illness is brought up, the attention is paid to it and not to who I am,” she says with a deep sigh.

There have been periods in Hanna’s life when she could not have imagined that she would ever be working again. Now the contrast with her condition during the episodes of care on the ward seem huge. “I could not even go out for many weeks. The focus was on very basic things. And when I was finally discharged, I would have wanted to go back to the ward as I felt safe there. I didn’t know how to be at home. I was nervous even about going to a shop by car. And if you think about the life I have now… I am moving about and go to work.”

Hanna says that the IPS Employment Specialist has supported her especially by believing in her chances. “Marika is really wonderful! I got discouraged every now and then, thinking that I will never find a job when I’m like this. Marika has kept on encouraging me, saying ‘Yes, you will. We will find you a suitable job.’ And now that I have found it, she supports me to start with small steps and helps with planning the shifts,” Hanna says.

Starting a new job is naturally stressful and causes uncertainty. Hanna has found the concrete support of the IPS Employment Specialist very good: Marika is really serious about making things work. I feel quite different after we have been talking about my worries over a cup of coffee. I trust her and the best thing is that we can sometimes talk about completely different things.”

Hanna would like to share her own experience so that others can also believe in their opportunities. “I want to tell everyone that is it possible to recover. Of course, you have to take small steps in the beginning and it takes determination and courage not to give up. I would like my experience to be an example that it is possible to have a good life despite the illness.”