Melissa overcomes three years without work to find job

Melissa Peters had enjoyed her dream job as a diversional therapist for 10 years before disaster struck.

After suffering a spinal injury Melissa was no longer able to carry out her job, which involved helping older people in aged care and making a huge difference in their daily lives.

By not being able to continue in her meaningful and valuable job, Melissa’s mental health also suffered and she fell into a deep depression.

“I couldn’t keep going,” Melissa recently told the Queensland Times newspaper.

“I got to a point where I was in a very big rut. My family suffered the most, I think.”

Like many people who find themselves looking for work while managing an injury or mental health condition, Melissa found it difficult to get another job.

In fact Melissa said she was out of work for three years and had more than 80 job rejections before she was given an opportunity in paid employment.

Through APM Employment Services Melissa was able to start a new role as a support worker with not-for-profit organisation Arafmi.

Melissa now works in two of Arafmi’s locations helping people with mental health issues.

"I think the job helps me more than the people that I help," she told the newspaper about her return to work.

"I've always been a helper. I've found my role again.

"My daughter's comment when I got the job was 'can we do what we used to' and that really hit hard because for three years she's seen a very big difference"

The new job has also helped improve Melissa’s own health.

"I'm not on any medications anymore. I take my pain meds but other than that I've picked myself up.

“I'm going out again with the kids, doing things with the family because I'd stopped (doing that). Then we had a holiday and it was the first one I could enjoy, not worrying about how I'm going to pay for things."

  • If you’re living with an injury, illness or disability and want to work, contact APM Employment Services to see if you’re eligible for our support service.
  • If you’re an employer looking for staff, speak to APM about how your business can benefit from our services while making a real difference in a person’s life.