1 November 2021 posted by Recovery Partners

Jasmine* never expected to need 14 months off work.

She was a healthy, fit young woman in her mid-30s. She was clever and ambitious, having completed multiple diplomas and able to speak many languages. She was a caring individual and worked as an Early Learning Educator Assistant.

Then, In February 2020, Jasmine suffered a minor injury at work.

Background

In February 2020, Jasmine injured her right knee whilst working in an Early Learning Centre. She took time off work to recover and returned to work on light duties after several weeks.

A few short months later, in July 2020, Jasmine suffered another injury at work, only this time it was much worse. She fell and injured both knees, her back and her left arm.

With her confidence wavering and the pandemic unwavering, Jasmine’s injury led to an anxiety attack and severe breakdown.

Tonia, star Employment Services Consultant from Recovery Partners and strategic planner, was assigned Jasmine’s case. Tonia has over 20 years’ experience in occupational rehabilitation so Jasmine was in very good hands.

However, due to lockdown and Jasmine’s poor mental health, it took Tonia longer than expected to be able to get in touch with Jasmine.

“When she [Jasmine] was referred, it took two months to get an appointment with her. COVID had just started, we just went into restrictions and she couldn’t speak on the phone because of lockdown and anxiety,” Tonia explains.

The client’s biggest concern

Jasmine’s biggest concern was not being able to return to the workforce and meet the demands of her job,

“She had now been out of the workforce so long, she was really worried about this,” Tonia expresses.

How Recovery Partners helped

Tonia wasted no time coordinating a GP case conference and helping to establish a treatment plan.

“Jasmine came across as very injury focussed and the GP agreed to referring Jasmine to a Pain Management Program which the GP organised promptly,” says Tonia.

Jasmine began seeing a psychologist, psychiatrist and physiotherapist to support her mental and physical health.

As aforementioned, Jasmine was concerned about disclosing her injury to potential employers. Tonia worked with her extensively on this.

“I helped relieve her fears regarding disclosing her injury,” says Tonia, something both consultant and client are very proud of.

Tonia also explained to Jasmine the job seeking services program in Victoria.

“She thought she would be on her own and not given any support. By explaining and facilitating the job seeking program, the pressure for her was alleviated,” Tonia says.

Astonishingly, just three weeks into the job seeking services program, Jasmine got a job! She began her new role in September 2021, over a year since her horrific fall.

“I developed her resume and my discussions with her lead her to start conversations with other people about employment opportunities,” Tonia explains. “She was able to get a job through a friend of a friend.”

Not only did Jasmine get a job, she got a promotion! Jasmine is now an Early Learning Educator Leader where she designs and develops learning programs in line with the Victorian curriculum.

WISE and WAS

The WorkSafe Incentive Scheme for Employers (WISE) provides a financial incentive of up to $26,000 to a new employer who offers ongoing employment of at least 15 hours a week to an injured worker who cannot return to work with their pre-injury employer.

Tonia informed Jasmine about WISE. Jasmine then sent information to the potential employer who expressed interest. The new employer has already received their commencement fee!

Workers Assistance Scheme (WAS) provides financial support to injured workers starting a new job. Thanks to WorkSafe Victoria, both employer and employee received financial support.

Key achievements

  • Tonia helped the client become open to taking on new suggestions and advice, which led her to consider a new employer.
  • Tonia helped the client to establish a new outlook.
    “Her outlook is completely different now, she was very hesitant, but she has gained a lot of confidence.”
  • Jasmine got a new job!

What is Tonia most proud of?

“I’m proud because I was able to make a difference. I was able to contribute to another person’s life and wellbeing where they were then able to become independent,” states Tonia.

“That’s our job, to give them confidence and motivation.”

Outstanding work, Tonia.

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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/