Personal experience: employment support from Bipolar UK
Carrie enjoyed shaping future generations as Curriculum Head at her school. She loved teaching her students and she worked hard to manage her bipolar. But an adverse reaction to her medication left her hospitalised for weeks and off work for months during which time she also went through a difficult breakup. Carrie reached crisis point and became suicidal.
Feeling she had nowhere to turn, Carrie called Bipolar UK where she received immediate crisis support. Once she was well enough, the charity then offered regular Employment Support, helping ease Carrie’s return to work.
Bipolar UK also provided guidance and advice to the school itself; helping them better understand bipolar and its impact on individuals and those around them.
Over time, Bipolar UK was able to bring Carrie and the management team together to discuss her return to work. Time had fractured their working relationship with a pervading atmosphere of distrust. The school was concerned Carrie wouldn’t be able to provide her students with necessary stability whilst Carrie was subject to the faculty rumour mill.
Bipolar UK delivered bespoke awareness training, including a session with an Employment Ambassador who had a similar experience to Carrie. Bipolar UK’s Employment Support Officer spent time alone with the leadership team, helping to unpack their concerns and provide tools to manage a team member with bipolar. Carrie, for example, completed a Bipolar UK advance statement so the school would know what to do in the event she showed signs of moving up or down the bipolar mood scale.
Now back at school for months, Carrie is looking forward to the new school year, confident in herself and the support available from work and from Bipolar UK.
Bipolar UK’s Employment Support Service recently received funding from the Bupa UK Foundation.