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Mental Health Case Study (Employer Assistance)

“I’d suspected for a while that Lisa wasn’t functioning well. I knew she had been experiencing some personal problems with her relationship and that she’d had to deal with troubles in her family but she hadn’t raised anything directly with me so I chose to hold off on saying anything to her.

One afternoon my suspicions were confirmed. She’d arrived late for work, which wasn’t usual for her and she was withdrawn and appeared disinterested in being at work. I approached her and asked her directly whether she was OK. Initially she fobbed me off saying she was just tired, but after probing she dissolved into tears and disclosed she wasn’t well and that her health had deteriorated as a result. She also said she was really stressed and thought she might be depressed.

She spoke about the strain her unhealthy relationship was having on her, that she was carrying the burden of expectation from her 2 sisters about her parent’s poor health and she had financial problems. I have a lot of time for Lisa, she is a valued employee and I was very worried about her.

It was at this time that I contacted the VNHP for help. I’d heard about them through my DON and knew that they would at least listen to me and hopefully help me to help Lisa.

I spoke to the staff there who took the time to hear my concerns and within minutes we’d set out a plan to help Lisa. They coached me on how to approach her and suggested I give her information about the VNHP. They thought Lisa would get benefit from seeing them so I insisted she call them that afternoon.

By this time Lisa was ready to ask for help. She took the information and called the VNHP. Within a couple of hours Lisa had spoken to a case manager there, had been able to tell her story, receive reassurance that she wasn’t alone and was given an appointment for 2 days later.

This was 3 months ago. Lisa took a couple of weeks off work at the time and since this all came out her health has improved dramatically. Lisa tells me that she continues to see a case manager at the VNHP and attends a support group there. She has seen a specialist for help with her depression and is addressing some important issues in her private life.

It was suggested by the VNHP that she catch up with me regularly to make sure she feels supported at work. I’ve managed to do this and Lisa says everything she’s done in the last 3 months has helped her get back to her best health. I couldn’t be happier for her and I’ve got a great nurse back at full capacity!

The most important thing I’ve been able to get from the VNHP through this experience is their support and advice on how to best tackle this situation. They gave me some great tips on what to look for, how to help Lisa and about what our hospital can do to help other nurses in need.

I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Thank you VNHP!”