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I have struggled to work due to my mental health. What do I tell the uni's that inter

I have struggled to work due to my mental health. What do I tell the uni's that interview me?

I am applying to do mental health nursing for September 2024. From the age of 16 - I have had severe OCD (intrusive thoughts). I could barely leave my room. I would get a job, but only be able to hold it down for a month/ a few months at most. From July 2023 I have tried to get a job, but been unable to get one. I am now 29.

I am currently stable, and have been for the last year, but I am under a mental health team, and living in supported accommodation.

I should be starting voluntary soon. I am just waiting on my provisional licence. Then I need to take a DBS, and then should start.
Reply 1
Hi KeziaF,

I think it is best to be honest with university about past attendance and mental conditions, however you do not need to share the details of conditions or reasons why you were unemployed. University cannot hold any of this information against you as mental health is a 'Protected characteristic'. This is one of the nine personal characteristics that are protected from discrimination under the Equality Act.

The main thing is, is that you are now stable and are wanting to progress your career by enrolling into further education. This is an achievement you should be proud of, well done to you!

They may however want to understand how you plan to combat education and volunteering at the same time, so you may want to have a think about this before your interview and have some answers prepared.

Best of luck!
First of all, I’d like to say I’m proud of you.

Mental health recovery as a whole is a step forward and takes months, even years to accept and work towards.

I myself am diagnosed with Bipolar affective disorder and was diagnosed in 2021 when I was already out of education. It didn’t stop me from preserving for something I’m passionate about though. I mean yes it would of hugely helped if it was discovered and treated earlier, but in all honesty even when treated with medication or holistic methods I am still struggling some days.

I am back in education this year and fingers crossed I get into mental health nursing because I have lived experience from the age of 11 with the mental health services and there’s so much that I’ve learned as a service user that id love to apply and improve on for future service users.

I’m also under a mental health team, I’ve been told by the universities I’ve applied to that they do support you around that so just ask yourself and let them know when you’ve accepted your offer if you need support with anything and I’m sure they’ll have a well-being hub of some sort 🙂

Good luck in this new adventure of yours and I hope we both get into mental health nursing!

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