Confidence & Motivation
After nearly two decades of struggling with her mental health, Estelle Davidson decided to take a different path as she contacted Routes To Work.
Fed up with feeling up and down, Estelle felt people didn’t get her.
That was until she engaged with Routes To Work and we quickly set about understanding her needs.
Estelle, from Wishaw, has been diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder, anxiety and depression.
Struggling for stability, routine and in a cycle of relapsing with her mental health, she was paired with a Routes To Work caseworker.
Together they devised an action plan to help Estelle find a way forward.
Unfortunately, Estelle suffered a relapse and ended up in hospital. However, Routes To Work would remain by her side.
Now receiving therapy, funded by Routes To Work, and attending The Health and Wellness Hub in Motherwell, she is back on the right track and no longer engaged in NHS services.
“I’ve struggled with my mental health for the last 18 years and I’ve been out of employment for the last 15 years,” she said.
“I was in and out of hospital quite a lot due to my mental health. I got to last year and decided that I was going to reach out to Routes To Work for some training and guidance to get back to work.
“I didn’t know what to expect or what would be expected of me.
“I got linked with a caseworker but I was still in and out of hospital at that point.
“My caseworker was touching base with me to make sure everything was going smoothly and fully supporting me through that journey.
“The last eight or nine months, I’ve found myself hugely away from the services. I’ve been able to be more independent and manage my own mental health and focus on my wellbeing.”
While she is not quite ready to step into full-time employment, Estelle’s mental health is stable and she has discussed volunteer work, all thanks to the support she has received at the hub and from Routes to Work.
“It made a huge impact on my confidence, my self-esteem, my daily routine and my structure to my days,” she continued.
“I was looking forward to getting up and getting into a routine and getting involved in working with other people.
“My mental health improved knowing I had commitments to attend the Wellness Hub and getting the training from them gave me something to focus on.
“That was a great insight into the roles that were expected of me.”
One passion Estelle has developed is for massage.
She has been trained in holistic therapies and massage and currently volunteers two days a week at the hub, practising on fellow-attendees.
“It was a new avenue for me,” she said.
“I never thought I’d get to explore something like that, and I'm thankful it was suggested, so I had the opportunity to try it.
“I was more than happy to give it go, but it took me a couple of weeks to get the gist of it and get the hands-on approach.
“I got an overview of the service itself - it was really interesting.
“I do the treatments on people who have additional needs and the support we provide is for all different walks of life.”
While she is enjoying it, Estelle feels she has a different purpose and wants to get back to her previous career when the opportunity is right for her to move back into employment.
After reviving her admin skills through Routes To Work, Estelle is hoping to use them to help others.
She explained: “I see myself going back to do some admin to build my confidence back up with the way the technology’s changed since I last did it.
“Then I can see myself getting into some sort of role like Routes To Work - helping other people get to where I’ve got to.”
Now in a better place, volunteering and building for the future, Estelle credits Routes To Work for helping her lay “stepping stones” to self-improvement.
Estelle said: “I didn’t know what I was going to see or what to expect from the service, but I was surprised they offered a more one-to-one approach and therapies.
“The confidence building for me and things like that, they were really supportive.
“It’s not about just throwing you straight into work, it’s about building your own confidence and self-esteem to get you back on track and where you want to be.
“That’s what I’ve found - from day one Routes To Work listened to me and heard what I want from the future and helped me build stepping stones to get there.
“They could see potential in me and that was giving me encouragement to keep going and focusing on my goals I wanted to achieve.
“If I hadn’t found Routes To Work when I did, I probably wouldn’t have been as open to different opportunities and would’ve taken a few steps back with my mental health without the focus and structure to my weeks.
“Routes To Work has given me a bit of hope to get back into employment of some sort instead of not pursuing what I want to do.
“It’s just amazing and has helped me get to where I am today.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, please don’t hesitate to ask for help by contacting your GP, NHS 24 on 111, Samaritans on 116 123 or Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87.