BACK ON TRACK: Melissa Peters was forced to leave a dream role has Arafmi support worker
BACK ON TRACK: Melissa Peters was forced to leave a dream role has Arafmi support worker Rob Williams

New job pulls mum out of three-year slump, 80 job rejections

AFTER an injury forced her out of her dream role and she struggled to find work, Melissa Peters fell into a three-year slump she almost didn't come out of.

The 35-year-old worked for 10 years as a diversional therapist and loved turning around the day for someone in aged-care who otherwise wouldn't have had the motivation to get out of bed.

A spinal injury meant she could no longer continue in her role and she fell into a deep depression, struggling to face each day and with anxiety always at the pit of her stomach.

"I couldn't keep going," she said.

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

But in the past six weeks, since starting as a support worker with not-for-profit community organisation Arafmi, she has pulled through.

After three years without work and more than 80 job rejections, she has "found her place again" with the help of APM Employment Services.

The mum of two works across two of Arafmi's guest houses assisting people with mental health issues, including planning and accompanying them on day trips.

"I think the job helps me more than the people that I help," she laughed.

"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.

"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."