LIVING with depression has been a barrier to employment for Padbury resident Alex Eades.
“If you’re not 100 per cent fit and willing to work full-time then most employers don’t want to know you,” he said.
“In reality, many people with mental illness have a lot to offer.”
Mr Eades has suffered from depression for 20 years and said people had a lack of understanding about mental illness.
“People can’t see my condition and don’t understand what it means to have depression,” he said. “They look at me and, not knowing my burden of pain, they judge me as being lazy or not willing to work.
“Depression is not the same as when you have a few bad days – it’s physically not being able to do what you need to do for months on end.”
Mr Eades sought help from disability services and employment provider Rocky Bay and started volunteering with Men of the Trees more than a year ago.
He recently got a job after a Rocky Bay consultant gave him the confidence to apply.
“For a long time I knew I had something to contribute to the workforce,” he said.
He said he had strategies in place to help mitigate the effects of his condition.
“You always have to remember that you have good days too,” he said.
“It’s hard, but I try to focus on the fact that some days are better than others.
“If I can just get through a bad day today, tomorrow might be one of those better days.”