Ian had an up-and-coming Work Capability assessment, so he self-referred himself to ICANN for help and support. His health conditions included anxiety and depression, back pain, and psoriasis.
Ian was socially isolated and did not see his family very often as they lived in another town from where he was living.
Why advocacy support?
Ian felt he needed our help because he was overwhelmed by the assessment process and his mental health had declined, and he said that he wasn’t coping, and could not do it on his own.
How did we help
Our advocate arranged a telephone pre-meet to prepare Ian for his assessment and looked at how his health conditions impacted him and prevented him from working. The pre-meet was kept short because Ian found answering the questions triggering and he became very emotional.
The face-to-face assessment was severely delayed, and Ian became agitated. Our advocate was able to calm him down. However, in the assessment Ian became overwhelmed and our advocate asked the assessor if they could stop the assessment for a few mins. This allowed Ian to calm down and gather his thoughts. Our advocate was able to reassure Ian that he was doing well, and that the assessment would soon be over. As the assessment continued, he needed reassurance and was prompted when he forgot to mention relevant information. The assessor was very calm and supportive, and this helped Ian a lot as he was worried about being interrogated by her.
After the assessment, our advocate stayed outside the assessment centre for a while with Ian until he had calmed down and they discussed how they felt the assessment had gone. Our advocate reassured him he had done all that he could have done and that him being upset would not go against him.
“I found the whole assessment process tough. It was overwhelming and I couldn’t cope with it. I would not have gone to it if you were not there. Thank you.”
As an advocacy organisation, we ensure that we place people at the heart of what we do. Everybody is different and we adapt our approach to meet clients’ individual needs.
Our advocate was able to reassure Ian that he was doing well to help reduce his stress and anxiety during the assessment. Adding to this, the assessor made the assessment process easier because she was calm and very supportive. The situation could easily have escalated if had not been the case.
“The Process would likely to have been even more distressing and daunting for Ian without advocacy support. Ian may not have been able to complete the assessment if he was on his own. This re-inforces the importance of having an advocate by your side and just knowing someone ‘has your back’. – Charlie – ICANN Advocate