After her psychological injury, the JobCover placement program helped turn Laura’s internship into a permanent role. *Laura had been a dental assistant for over five years when a psychological injury meant she was no longer able to work in her role. ‘Laura burnt out after she experienced bullying in a toxic work environment over quite a long period,’ says Ali Hamdan, Recovery Partners Rehabilitation Consultant. ‘She was diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety and depression and began CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) counselling sessions with a psychologist.’
Laura had an unsuccessful trial under a different provider
When Ali first met with Laura, she had already worked with another rehabilitation provider. Laura had decided that she didn’t want to continue working as a dental assistant, but she didn’t have any other training or experience. She expressed interest in moving into a Human Resources role and had begun studying for a Bachelor of Human Resources Management. The other rehabilitation provider helped Laura secure a work trial in a recruitment organisation, but Laura found the workload and work environment too stressful and the trial was unsuccessful. Ultimately, the insurer decided to discontinue the relationship with the other rehabilitation provider and enlist the help of Recovery Partners.
Ali noticed that Laura’s anxiety still persisted
‘When I first met Laura, she had been undergoing counselling for some time. She believed the CBT was helping, but I noticed her anxiety was still quite persistent and generalised,’ Ali says. With Laura’s permission, Ali discussed this with Laura and her GP, and the GP recommended that Laura try some anti-anxiety medication. ‘Laura was reluctant to take the medication at first, and only took it intermittently,’ Ali says. ‘But, when the GP told her she needed to take it regularly to see any effects, she began to take it every day and it started to really help.’
Laura began an internship in a friend’s business
Although Laura had been motivated to find a new job before starting medication, she seemed more optimistic once the medication kicked in, Ali says. ‘I noticed that Laura’s mood seemed more stable and her attitude was more positive. In fact, it was Laura who initiated the next step in her job hunt.’ Laura rang Ali and said that a friend had offered her an internship to give her more experience in an office environment, and she had accepted it. ‘The internship involved Laura working from Monday to Wednesday as an internal training coordinator for a mortgage provider. It was a role they used to outsource to overseas contractors, but they decided to give Laura a go.’
Ali suggested JCPP to Laura’s employer
When Laura told Ali about the internship, he raised the idea of the JobCover placement program (JCPP), a SIRA initiative that provides incentives to employers to employ a worker who has experienced a work-related injury and is unable to return to work with their pre-injury employer. ‘I rang the mortgage provider that Laura was doing her internship with and told the HR Manager about the JCPP. I explained how it would apply to Laura’s circumstances and emailed them some information. At that point, Laura had already been working with them for a few weeks and they were happy with her work, so they were definitely open to the idea.’
The JCPP sealed the deal and Laura was given a permanent role
Laura had told Ali that she was enjoying the work, the workplace and other people, and the HR Manager at the mortgage provider understood the nature of her injury and was supportive. With Ali’s encouragement, they decided to go ahead and offer Laura a permanent position using the JCPP for the twelve-month duration of the program. ‘The JobCover placement program sealed the deal for Laura,’ Ali says. ‘It gave the new employers a good reason to keep her on, and it allowed Laura to build up her experience in that sort of work.’ Laura was very appreciative, Ali says, as were her new employers.
‘Securing the job gave a boost to Laura’s mental health as well as her overall wellbeing. I’ll continue to check in with Laura at her new role, but I feel confident she’ll succeed in it. I’m happy for her that she’s been able to change her circumstances and build a more positive working life again.’ Congratulations to Ali and Laura!
If you’re an employer and you’re interested in giving an injured worker a new opportunity through the JobCover placement program, or an insurer looking for a rehabilitation provider to facilitate outcomes like this for your client, get in touch.
Our consultants love to have a chat, so go ahead and give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789) or email firstname.lastname@example.org *Names have been changed to protect the identity and privacy of the individuals and organisations involved.
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/
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