Providing employment support – Stevie is our NHS Hero

A strong desire to help others has led Stevie Chand, (27) from Dudley, into a career working in the healthcare profession. He currently works as a vocational specialist for Dudley and Walsall Mental Health NHS Partnership Trust (DWMH), which sees him supporting people with mental health conditions, physical health concerns or long term conditions gain sustainable employment.

“Ever since a young age, I have enjoyed working with others,” explained Stevie.

“Prior to joining DWMH two years ago, I worked in a drug and alcohol recovery service, before moving on to support people who had HIV/Aids. What really struck me in this role was the affect that these issues could have on a person’s mental health – which ignited a passion within me to work more closely with a mental health service.”

Stevie thoroughly enjoys his role, which sees him spend a lot of his time working in the community to support his clients on their employment journey.

“My days are mostly spent meeting with my clients and supporting them with things such as CV building or preparing for interviews. I meet them wherever they feel safe and comfortable to meet me – this could be GP surgeries, libraries or their own home.

“A part of my role also involves supporting my clients once they have found work, so I often meet them before or after their shifts.

“The job is incredibly rewarding – to know that I am reaching out to someone who might be feeling really down on their self and then to see them flourish and start to develop some self-belief brings a smile to my face each and every day.”

During February, we celebrate LGBT+ History Month, something which is particularly close to Stevie’s heart.

“I was first attracted to work for the Trust as I knew they were a Stonewall employer – and I have been incredibly impressed with the work they do to promote equality. I am a member of the LGBTQ+ staff network and feel incredibly supported to be able to bring my whole-self to work.”

Outside of work, Stevie has a passion for fashion!

“I can often be found around a sewing machine or deep in a fashion magazine,” laughed Stevie!

“I also enjoy going to the gym and travelling.”

Stevie says that his next big challenge is to go to university to do a clinical degree: “I’d love to get more involved in the clinical side of mental health.”

So who is Stevie’s own hero?

“My mom and my grandma – they are both the strongest and kindest women I know. They have always allowed me to be my most authentic self and to be unapologetically me. Throughout my life they have taught me the importance of being a shoulder to cry on for somebody who needs it.”

Stevie’s mental health message: “Talk – I know everyone can get lost in work, raising little ones and general life, but having a moment to talk to someone about how you feel is the most important thing you can do for your mental health.”