A staged, customized whole person approach to helping people take back control of their life following injury, illness and disability.
Traditional approaches to recovery return to work and rehabilitation are not working as well as they could be.
For some people, they simply don’t work at all. We at Purple Co asked – why is it some people recover faster, and without support than others?
WE HAVE A PROBLEM
Traditional rehabilitation and return to work services have become a largely transactional process. When a person is injured at work, they are expected to behave in ways that are congruent with a claims process rather than a recovery process.
We currently have a linear approach to recovery that can be summarised like this:
This linear approach ignores the factors that lead to the person being at work in the first place.
We know from the International Classification of Functioning as reported by the World Health Organisation, that we cannot continue to ignore the need for a person centric approach to recovery, health and wellness and one that addresses specific cultural factors.
The purpose of this program is to move beyond a transactional approach to recovery to a transformative approach to recovery where participants are:
When people are engaged, they start asking the question is work a good idea for me?
When people are educated, they start asking, what do I have to offer?
And when people are equipped, they ask, what can I do now?
The overarching theme of this program is to enable participants to take back control of their life following a work-related injury, illness or traumatic event.
This is a structured, comprehensive and integrated whole of life approach to recovery following a work-related injury, illness or traumatic event.
Purple Co consultants have been doing this work for more than 20 years.
We choose to do this work because we believe everyone has the right to engage in meaningful activity including work.
We noted that some people appear to recover more successfully than others. It is in the analysis of these success factors that have led to the creation of this program.
HOW WE KNOW THIS APPROACH IS NEEDED
We hear all the time from clients from all jurisdictions including self-funded clients, that a health event has caused their life to go from full on to full stop.
They often feel out of control, unable to make a decision, intimate relationships are suffering, their sense of belonging is eroding, they are isolated and scared for the future while experiencing grief about the life they thought they were going to have. Many also feel a sense of blame placed on them.
- Treatment keeps them focused on their pain, their disability, what has happened.
- Certificates of capacity keep them focused on what they used to be able to do but can’t now.
- Having an insurance company in control of their financial resource, treatment needs and potential employment future keeps them stuck, disempowered and ill equipped to make decisions and take control of their life.
Imagine being at work, one minute in charge of your own decisions and behaviour, the next someone else is making decisions about your
- Health and medical care
- Where you can and can’t have treatment
- When you will and won’t come to work
- What you will and won’t get paid
Everyone likes to think that staying at home and being paid something to not work sounds like fun, until it is their reality. I’ve never in 20 years heard a client describe their illness, or injury experience as fun.
There is a group of people who are not getting the services they need. They usually get tagged with words like “significant injury” or “difficult claimant”. They are often the people we develop a sixth sense around, thinking that this person is going to need more support and help but I don’t quite know why. Usually our sixth sense is right.
Currently, when faced with the I don’t quite know what to do with this person scenario one of two things happen
- Nothing because we feel like we need to have all the answers
- We recommend something that might work, we have some doubts, we hope it will, surely something is better than nothing. It rarely is.
This program is highly targeted, with a great deal of individualisation to ensure participants get what they need from the program, so that activity becomes personalised to meet these needs.
This program is delivered in 3 stages
Aim: to help participants understand that they can take back control of their life following a work-related injury. This is where we build the skill of Resilience, the ability to cope more effectively with adversity and stress.
- Be educated, empowered and engaged to the opportunity for change and their role in making change occur.
- See the potential for change.
- Be able to identify their own personal strengths (what they are naturally good at and what they enjoy).
How can I?
Aim: To help participants answer the questions how can I change; what changes can I make and then what’s next?
- Be empowered and equipped to identify what is important to them.
- Be empowered and equipped to prioritise their time, capacity and other resources including financial resources.
- Be equipped to make small achievable changes and practices making change sustainably and safely.
- Are ready to explore their skills for employment.
What will I do?
Aim: To help participants answer the questions what do I have to offer an employer; what job is suitable for me?
- Be empowered and equipped to identify what knowledge and skills they have.
- Be empowered and equipped to identify where they fit into the world of work.
- Be equipped to identify job opportunities in the advertise and “hidden” job market.
THE BENEFITS OF THIS APPROACH
Anecdotal evidence from past Purple Co participants:
- A woman in her mid-30’s who had been on claim for 7 years completed a 12-week program with Purple Co and was able to commence self-paced retraining in preparation for self-employment. She is now self-employed (12 months post program completion). She now has the confidence to start dating again and has re connected with a desire to become a mother.
- A woman who was a teacher in her early 60’s returned to work in a part time capacity, enabling her to add to her savings and her retirement plans.
- A woman in her mid-50’s, living in a depressed labour market with outdated administration skills and poor telecommunication skills, is employed part time and engaged in FREE online retraining of her own volition while participating in the program.
- A young man, came to us requiring 40 hours a week of attendant care, plus medical, plus aides and equipment, plus wages benefit. Returning to work for 10 hours a week reduced that attendant care need reduced to 10 hours a week. Plus reduced the wages benefit, while adding superannuation for the client, along with a sense of pride, meaning and purpose.
- A man in his mid-40’s came to us telling us that he needed to be a good role model to his son. He returned to work in a part time capacity; plays representative wheelchair rugby, retrained while he was at work, and coaches his son’s soccer team.
- A self-employed sign writer, returned to work graduating from part time to full time, while re engaging in activities with his school aged children.
- A partner in a law firm was able to reengineer her workload so that her presence at work was not required full time to help manage her ongoing symptoms. However, her effectiveness while at work meant that she was able to maintain her revenue targets and remain a partner in the law firm.
- A young man working 3 casual jobs had a history of extended and unexplained absence from work due to poor symptoms management, was able to reduce his jobs by 1, maintain his employment and at 3 months post program completion had not been required to take any time off work due to his symptoms. He is now planning a career move because he knows he is a “good” worker and that people want him to work for them.
This program can only add to a participant,
it cannot detract.
We prepare participants for change, we then help them to use their bodies better, more effectively, so that they are reduce their reliance on
- Medical treatment and costs including imaging
- Physiotherapy, OT, Psychology and other treatment
- Aides and equipment
- Attendant and other care
Where reasonable we will then help them prepare for work.
This approach has significant knock on effect into families, into communities, into workplaces.
When we help 1 person transform by taking back control of their life, we enable
- Increased family participation
- Increased social inclusion
- Increased earning capacity
- Purpose and belonging
- Improved health and wellbeing.
- Stronger communities
This program is about the longer-term gains. This group of people, the people we are targeting are not a good fit for quick fix. Quick fixes are not long lasting; are often gimmicky and when they no longer work, they lead to a compounding sense of shame and failure.
WHO IS IDEALLY SUITED FOR THIS PROGRAM?
- People of working age.
- People who are no longer employed, or who have been out of the paid work force for 12 + months.
- Where treatment has been reasonable and appropriate yet there are limited gains or progress.
- Where there is significant fear of activity or activity avoidance being demonstrated or expressed.
- Where there is a significant fear of flare up, fear of re injury, discussion about “what if I can’t cope” being demonstrated or expressed.
- Where treatment providers, rehabilitation providers, case managers are questioning what to do to help this person.
- People who can use a smart phone. We will need some basic digital literacy.
- People with stabilised housing – meaning they have a residence that they can call home, they are not homeless or couch surfing.
- Preferably a Year 9 equivalent of education.