Anna is now thriving in work thanks to the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service

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Experiencing significant work-related stress and anxiety, Anna Duke from Leicester had feelings of an overwhelming sense of not being able to cope with her day-to-day job as Head of Nursing at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.   

Unable to manage the challenges her role presented, Anna felt her judgement had become clouded and she could no longer concentrate.   

Anna, 47, was referred through our embedded model at University Hospitals Leicester during spring last year following an extended leave of absence from her role. She said;  

“I was constantly firefighting. I was unable to focus and could no longer identify priorities, which left me feeling completely overwhelmed.  

There was a work life imbalance, due to my job requiring commitment beyond normal working hours, with significant responsibilities associated with it. I just could not cope any longer.”  

To enable and facilitate her return-to-work employer engagement was essential. Supported by Paul Jessop, Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant, a pre-return-to-work meeting with Anna and her line manager was arranged.   

Anna was given immediate support from her employer accessing their Employee Assistance Programme. Also, a phased return to work with adjusted hours, duties, and responsibilities; along with a comprehensive stress risk assessment and health and safety tools; to support the process was agreed.   

In addition, Anna received access to Maximus’ wellbeing portal for support with coping strategies for mental health awareness and self-care, as well as other support resources to help with mindfulness.   

Following intensive remote support from Paul, Anna built a bank of coping mechanisms to assist with her return to work. 

Anna made a successful return to work in June.   

“My mental health has massively improved since joining the service. I am back to myself, only a better version.    

I have a better understanding about mental wellbeing and now have strategies in place to support, if I need them.     

Being open and honest about my mental health has supported my successful return to work and improved awareness of mental health within the team.  

The support from the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service is structured with an approach that facilitates the recovery of the client. I have found the service invaluable and would not have been able to return to work without the support, encouragement, and advocacy from the team. Thank you!”  

Anna continues to thrive back in work, sustaining in her role and is back to full duties.  

12 December, 2022