Jane’s story: from desperation to promotion

woman on laptop

Jane contacted the MS Employment Support Service (ESS) after an MS relapse left her wondering if she’d ever be able to work full time again.

ESS provided advice to Jane about how to disclose her MS to her manager, negotiate working from home after infusion day, and getting a bigger.

ESS also funded a trial of myotherapy sessions for pain, exercise classes for strength and mental wellbeing, a cooling vest, a smart pen device for notetaking, and supported Jane to apply for a disability parking permit.

With all of this support wrapped around her, Jane was successful in securing a promotion just a few years after she first reached out!

Looking at the whole picture for a better work life

Living and working with MS isn’t always easy. MS symptoms like fatigue, pain and brain fog can make for hurdles in the workplace. A national study conducted in 2019 showed that 64% of people living with multiple sclerosis reported an effect on their employment and their ability to earn an income.

Although it might seem logical to look straight to the workplace to improve these issues, the MS Employment Support Service says that understanding the whole picture, including what’s happening outside of work, is just as important.

“MS symptoms can really impact a person’s ability to eat well and exercise, their sleep, pain management, mental health, ability to run a household and so much more,” said Tegan Hanisch, Specialist Advisor, Occupational Therapist from the MS Employment Support Service.

 “A healthy lifestyle is so important for a positive work life. That’s why the MS Employment Support Service (ESS) looks at the whole picture when we’re supporting somebody to maintain or find employment.”

The MS ESS works with people living with multiple sclerosis to understand their challenges and provide practical strategies to overcome them. This can include allied health assessments, workplace modifications and equipment, and referral into other services to support with things like diet and mental health.  Most importantly, the team members provide emotional support and a partner throughout, so you don’t have to face your challenges alone. 

To learn more about how the MS Employment Support Service can help you maintain or secure a job, contact us on 1800 042 138 or msconnect@ms.org.au.

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