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Siobhan Keogh Limerick Local Employment Service

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1 Siobhan Keogh Limerick Local Employment Service
A Case Study of Resilience in Clients of the Local Employment Service Siobhan Keogh Limerick Local Employment Service

2 Aim of the Research To examine individual client’s experiences of unemployment and to identify what factors are important in relation to developing resilience in the context of unemployment .

3 Background to the Research
Unemployment crisis in Ireland – 14.9% unemployment rate (CSO, 2012) Unemployment is generally described quantitatively, need for more qualitative research (Blustein, 2006) Clients varied in terms of age, nationality, educational qualifications, previous occupations and length of time they were unemployed. .

4 Resilience in the Context of Unemployment
“the capability of the individual to cope successfully with the adversity of unemployment as demonstrated by assertive job search behaviours and positive mood state” (Moorehouse and Caltabiano, 2007)

5 Research Findings Emotional, Psychological and Practical Impact
Individual variation in the experience of unemployment with some participants coping better than others. Resilience appears to be dependant on personal and environmental factors.

6 Experience of Unemployment
Emotional - low mood, frustration and anxiety. Psychological – Reduced self worth, confused identity, poor self esteem, isolation. Practical - Lack of routine, boredom, financial restrictions

7 “I get really frustrated, sometimes I give out to my parents even though I know it is not their fault.. But I just feel so mad” Anna, 20 “Surprisingly, the biggest thing is the tiredness; I find I am really tired all the time…sometimes I go to bed in the afternoon” Mary, 22

8 “the worst thing is that I have no job, no aim, no use” Celina, 30
“It robs you of your dignity, your pride, your sense of being a man. You feel empty, useless, unable to provide, embarrassed”, Zuka, 42

9 The boredom is the worst thing… it is just absolutely chronic
The boredom is the worst thing… it is just absolutely chronic. Peter, 60 I miss looking forward to the next day, putting on my make-up, fixing my hair. I loved that.. some days I don’t bother getting dressed nicely, what is the point if you have nowhere to go” Emily, 32

10 “It is really about being part of society again, that is what it boils down to.
Even to say there was a traffic jam this morning, being there, rather than just hearing about it on the radio.” Eileen, 54

11 “it doesn’t bother me to be honest…. I just get on with it” John, 42
“it depends what you make of it, it is up to yourself” Tom, 32

12 Factors that decrease resilience
Financial Stress Social Welfare Process Lack of response from employers

13 Factors that Increase Resilience
Stay connected to others Stay connected to the world of work Personal Action Plan Self Care

14 “I have to be optimistic, I do believe I will get work in some form, I have to keep trying, I can’t give up” Eileen, 54 “I know I have to stay positive and I know something will happen for me” Anna, 20

15 Implications for Practice
Explore the unique meaning the client attributes to their unemployment Acknowledge how the client is feeling, they need to be heard. Listen to the clients language, pay attention to identity and self worth. Encourage positive self talk, reviewing past successful experiences, increasing self awareness. Assess the balance between positive and negative factors – do they have a support network, are they connected to the world of work, do they have a plan, are they taking care of themselves? A “balance sheet” of sorts. Assist client to develop strategy that best suits their unique situation.

16 Work at an emotional and psychological level takes significant time.

17 We have a responsibility to identify those most at risk from the effects of unemployment.

18 Recognition is needed that progression for our clients is not just about quantitative measurements, it is also about supporting the mental health of our clients.

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