Simon has been an employment advisor with Richmond Fellowship for two years. He uses his own experience of living with mental health problems to inspire his clients and show them that an enjoyable, sustainable working life is achievable.

I started out as a client being supported by an employment advisor. My own background’s in HR so I thought with my knowledge of recruitment, selection and employment law there’d be an ideal job for me to help people with their employment and finding a job with their mental health issues.

I think that anybody that’s experienced a mental health difficulty can be empathetic towards others who are also undergoing a mental health issue and that’s when my clients connect with me. I’m quite happy to disclose that I’ve had poor mental health in the past and they feel comfortable that I know what they’re talking about and that I fully understand. It makes them feel more comfortable.

I’m quite happy to disclose that I’ve had poor mental health in the past and they feel comfortable that I know what they’re talking about and that I fully understand.

I find that once I click with my clients there’s a good sense of humour involved and a good bonding so I can find out what kind of job would best suit them and something that they’d find enjoyable and sustainable. What inspires me the most is my clients’ inner strength. I admire the work they do when they’re with me; they’re far more committed than in other sectors I’ve worked in.

Many of the clients I’ve seen I’ve managed to get out of the workplace because it’s too toxic for them through settlement agreements. To see them cry with the relief of not having to go back to a job that they can’t stand and move on into a job that they find enjoyable and sustainable is what gives me the drive to go on doing the work we do.