As World Mental Health Day arrives, it is more timely than ever to reflect on the societal conditions the global pandemic has swept in with it.

Whilst the serious impacts continue to reverberate around the globe, for some the abrupt changes to working environments have presented hope. You see there are those holding a torch high for others in the darkened halls of the pandemic isolation. 

Cheryl Stevens from atWork Australia is just one of these torchbearers. 

The Employer Engagement Consultant is passionate about spreading awareness on World Mental Health Day.


“Throughout my life, I have witnessed people around me struggle with mental health issues. I’ve seen how deeply it can affect people and how with the right support, how much their lives can improve, so I aspire to spread awareness so that those who are facing difficult times can reach out and get the help they need” says Cheryl. 


Recent studies have presented exciting possibilities for those with mental health conditions and employment opportunities. According to atWork Australia, there has been a 52% rise in people finding work during September, compared to March of this year. This is a surprising and positive sign in a time riddled with fear around employment. Lockdown conditions are driving consumers to local-centric purchasing behaviour, and the demand for jobs suited to people living with mental health conditions is rising according to atWork Australia sources. 

“It’s rewarding to see someone grow and gain enough self-confidence to build a future to look forward to. I feel excited and proud to be a part of their journey” says Cheryl. 

 “In Victoria, we are seeing the biggest number of roles that are relevant for our clients living with mental health conditions, since the start of COVID-19. These range from opportunities for baristas and kitchen hands, to warehousing pick packers and supermarket delivery drivers,” 

 Cheryl was inspired to join atWork Australia after she discovered their motto “Nothing is more powerful than getting the right person into the right job” and saw the difference they were making in people’s lives. 

 “We recently placed a 23-year-old client who had been applying for work for 72 weeks, while going through coaching to manage his condition, low self-esteem and social anxiety. After more than 18 months of hard work, he was able to get his first-ever job within a local warehouse during Victoria’s hardest lockdown. This is the type of impact the changing job landscape is creating.”

 “Generally, employers aren’t concerned about a candidate’s mental health condition and are focused on what they can bring to the job,” continues Cheryl. 

 “In fact, one company owner asked if there was an opportunity to hire more people with mental health conditions, or people living with a disability, as she found they were harder working and more engaged in the business,” she adds. 

 World Mental Health Day provides an opportunity for businesses to ponder on how they adopt opportunities like this in their business and positively impact the lives of others. Inclusivity and diversity are calling you Ponderers! 




atWork Australia: 


Black Dog Institute 


World Mental Health Day


Lifeline Australia 13 11 14


You can also text 0477 13 11 14 from 12 pm to midnight for support. 

About atWork Australia Disability Employment Services

atWork Australia is a leading employment services provider working with Australians in over 300 locations across the nation. atWork Australia’s Disability Employment Services support people with disability, injury, illness or mental health condition to find the right job with the right employer.

To do that, the team work with people to identify their goals and aspirations, build skills and job-readiness, and coach them through interviews and into employment – as well as work with prospective employers to support and help them realise the benefits of employing a diverse workforce. In short, the team’s approach is to support a person in the way that most helps them transform their life.

atWork Australia are committed to providing truly excellent employment support services, making a real difference to people’s lives and helping employers find truly great people for their business.


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Photo credit: Cheryl Stevens

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