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Disability supportMature People

A Continuing Journey of Self-Discovery for Anne

By May 16, 2024May 22nd, 2024No Comments

Anne*, a 64-year-old resident of a rural community near Cooroy, battled chronic anxiety and low self-esteem stemming from personal tragedies. She describes her life as dysfunctional and emotionally destructive, and never pictured herself in any form of employment. Since coming to uLaunch, it has been a journey of individual capacity building preparing for future employment and regaining self-confidence. 

Upon her referral to uLaunch from Centrelink, the initial stages of engagement were fueled with emotion and little communication. Anne was hesitant to open up and engage with the consultant. Building trust was paramount. It took months of careful collaboration to create a safe space for Anne to share her struggles to allow for transformative change. 

At one of the appointments, the uLaunch consultant delved into Anne’s past employment experiences as a legal secretary and conveyancer. They talked about what skills were required for these jobs and addressed barriers to re-entering the workplace. Computer literacy emerged as a significant hurdle with Anne feeling overwhelmed by technological advancements since her typewriter days. 

To overcome this challenge, the consultant talked to Anne about joining a local computer group. But Anne’s anxiety crept in and the thought of this was too much. Instead, the consultant worked with Anne on the computer and had weekly sessions focusing on key computer skills. Anne’s confidence grew and a newfound sense of determination emerged as she worked through online typing tests, even recording her results into a spreadsheet she created. 

The weekly computer sessions not only triumphed in Anne gaining new skills, but it also allowed the consultant to get to know Anne better and develop a plan to help regain her purpose. Anne had suppressed her emotions for years and she didn’t feel valued or had anything to contribute to. The consultant recognised the need for ongoing support. Using strategies from previous counselling and exploring Healthfind services, Anne now has tailored support to help combat her anxiety and confidence issues. 

After months of gentle exploration and highlighting Anne’s progress, Anne now volunteers at a local Equine therapy centre 4 hours per week working with the kitchen and garden teams. Her confidence is growing, and social inclusion is improving, recently mentoring two new volunteers at the centre. While paid employment remains a future goal, Anne has begun to identify work she could do and, in her appointments, she is undergoing mock job interviews in preparation for the “real thing”. 

As Anne continues her journey of self-discovery, her story serves as inspiration for others facing similar challenges at any age. uLaunch’s high quality service delivery not only utilise practical skills for career advancement but equip you with life skills to overcome barriers. uLaunch is here to ensure you have every opportunity to advance, grow and develop.     

*Name changed for privacy.   

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