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Old 21.01.2018, 22:00
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Broke and depressed - IV?

So Iím 24 with long term depression and anxiety (seeing a psychiatrist the last year and a half +) and basically had to quit studying due to a breakdown. So Iím not entirely qualified to easily get a job here. But Iím also not really able to work due to my depression and anxiety. I had a part time job in Burger King in November 2017 which only lasted a month of working 70% with some 11 hour shifts before I was finding it too difficult to function and chose to resign to try to spare the small progress Iíd made on my mental health (spoiler alert: my mental health dropped again anyway).

So now Iím stuck looking for options. To have a job I need to study. To study I need to pay. To pay I need a job...etc.
I had heard IV supports people with mental health problems but canít find any good info on it as my german isnít advanced enough for their website (which would be confusing to navigate even in English really). Anyone got any info on what my options are? Iíd really appreciate it.
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Old 21.01.2018, 23:00
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Re: Broke and depressed - IV?

Your psychiatrist should have an idea or two.

You could contact these addresses, make an apointment and have a talk to them. if they can't help you they will know who can.

https://www.upd.ch/angebot/psychiatr...ehabilitation/

https://www.supportedemployment-schw...naged_care.pdf address is at the end of the text.

Don't count on IV. It is very difficult to get in there. The % you would get if you got any IV would be too low. You are far too young to go on IV, you need to focus on getting back on your feet.

You wrote a post in 2016 about difficulties making contact. Did you ever join one of the EF dinners in Bern? They might not be your age-group (sorry, folks ) but they might share your love for reading. And anyway, they will just be a change. And as some of them STILL didn't bother to leaern German properly they can tell you where else in Bern to go.

Good luck.
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Old 22.01.2018, 06:26
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Re: Broke and depressed - IV?

Contact VLH22, she went through something similar and may be able to give you loads of advice. Check out her posts?
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Old 22.01.2018, 07:20
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Re: Broke and depressed - IV?

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So Iím 24 with long term depression and anxiety (seeing a psychiatrist the last year and a half +) and basically had to quit studying due to a breakdown. So Iím not entirely qualified to easily get a job here. But Iím also not really able to work due to my depression and anxiety. I had a part time job in Burger King in November 2017 which only lasted a month of working 70% with some 11 hour shifts before I was finding it too difficult to function and chose to resign to try to spare the small progress Iíd made on my mental health (spoiler alert: my mental health dropped again anyway).

So now Iím stuck looking for options. To have a job I need to study. To study I need to pay. To pay I need a job...etc.
I had heard IV supports people with mental health problems but canít find any good info on it as my german isnít advanced enough for their website (which would be confusing to navigate even in English really). Anyone got any info on what my options are? Iíd really appreciate it.
Do you do any sports or strenuous physical activity?
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Old 22.01.2018, 13:25
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Re: Broke and depressed - IV?

Have you tried setting short term goals? Like, really short-term.
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Old 22.01.2018, 13:51
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Re: Broke and depressed - IV?

I don't know how is it in Basel and how this things work for foreigners, but some of acquaintances/friends work in organizations (in Luzern) that employs people with different kind of problems.
One of those in Luzern is IG Arbeit.
As far as I know they work like this:
- employees learn a job and later do a work as any craftsman do (carpenter, cook, gardener, etc)
- they recognize that the employees will sometimes, due to their health, work slower or they will not come to work
- they have strict rules about some topics, especially preventing violence
- group manager is a craftsman with additional training.
I don't have a full knowledge about it, you should check some things for yourself, but maybe that could be a way for you.
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Old 22.01.2018, 14:52
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Re: Broke and depressed - IV?

Hey, there is always a solution don't surrender. I saw that you are British. Where does your family live? Could it be possible perhaps to go back live with them while you recover, to get a sense of belonging somewhere and see from there? Here in Switzerland it is so easy and so quick to feel and end up being isolated that if you haven't got any attach here, I would not recommend you to stay here. Good luck and take good care of yourself.

Last edited by tralala1; 22.01.2018 at 14:53. Reason: typo
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Old 22.01.2018, 14:58
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Re: Broke and depressed - IV?

What's your major?
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Old 22.01.2018, 15:45
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Re: Broke and depressed - IV?

Do you know the existence of 9gag?
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Old 22.01.2018, 16:29
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Re: Broke and depressed - IV?

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... Anyone got any info on what my options are? Iíd really appreciate it.
It takes a lot to ask for help, so props for asking, even anonymously.

The support of those around you is unclear. I'll assume you have some support. People in your life here care about you and will be ready to help you, but they can't wave a magic wand. To make things easier for them to help you, start by telling them ways in which they can help. There's no stigma from being honest, even if it seems miserable. People are suprisingly amenable to sharing their good will: you won't appear a burden (that's pride) if they see you taking ownership of this shitty situation.

Tiny steps first: having things to look forward to doesn't have to be terrifying. When you're in a funk, the slightest thing can seem insurmountable. That includes getting up. To help you get up, have something to look forward to: joining someone to watch a game, have a coffee, offering to help a parent over lunchtime with the children.

Being active is crucial. Inertia has a momentum of it's own and is debilitating. Don't beat yourself up. This weather doesn't help!

Friends who are aware of your situation can help and it won't be with the magic wand but as stated: help them to help you. Ask to see their CV and ask them if you could use it as a template to build yours. There's no failure, no pressure; ask for help. Tindersticks to progress.

Asking for CV help will give others some way of helping you without making you feel overly obliged nor them overly stretched. Ask others what they think are your redeeming qualities: you may feel you don't have any and that's not the case. We all have something to offer and you may be surprised how highly regarded your friends hold you.

Richdog asks if you have any exercise in your life: this is really important. Your endorphins need to come from somewhere and if exercise ain't delivering, the Devil never sleeps. It's a spiral, so be a friend to yourself and make tiny milestones and be patient.

Putting on a brave face is what you do in the morning but your friends will see right through it. Don't be shy to lower the mask and communicate. There will be better times. Today is the day you worried over yesterday. Good luck and keep us informed.

Ps, stay the hell away from 9gag.
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Old 22.01.2018, 16:33
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Re: Broke and depressed - IV?

You are in the heart of "Yodel Land"! I am actually serious: Bern has LOTS of yodel clubs. You, like me, would most likely be the only foreigner and at first would be viewed with at best polite curiosity. But you can win something for yourself on two fronts:

1. yodelling is an incredibly liberating activity, especially "Naturjodel" where there are just sounds, no words (helpful if you don't speak or understand much Swiss-German) and therefore anti-stress and something you can take away with you wherever you are (top of a mountain, echoing garage...)


2. A Yodel Club is like a big family and one where the Swiss will accept you more quickly because they see you are making an effort to understand their customs and traditions. I have witnessed incredible examples of generosity, where someone in the club who had lost his job was given a second chance with someone who had their own company. Someone else went through a difficult divorce and was offered for free temporary accommodation...


I gave you yodel as an example, but if this is not your thing, I'm sure you can find a club or association that will meet your needs. I am also pretty certain that your psychologist would have the detail of some self-support groups with other people who suffer from chronic depression and would truly understand what you are going through.


Keep it up mate, something will come your way and will turn out for the better. Tomorrow, sunshine is forecasted: go up to a nice bar up in the mountains, sit yourself with a nice cup of tea and soak in the sunshine with a good book.
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Old 22.01.2018, 16:34
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Re: Broke and depressed - IV?

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Do you know the existence of 9gag?
Do you need some kind of further training on when it is appropriate to use a rolleyes smiley, especially in a thread made by a severely depressed person?

The rolleyes smiley will be perceived as negative in the vast majority of instances.
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Old 22.01.2018, 18:42
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Re: Broke and depressed - IV?

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So I’m 24 with long term depression and anxiety (seeing a psychiatrist the last year and a half +) and basically had to quit studying due to a breakdown. So I’m not entirely qualified to easily get a job here. But I’m also not really able to work due to my depression and anxiety. I had a part time job in Burger King in November 2017 which only lasted a month of working 70% with some 11 hour shifts before I was finding it too difficult to function and chose to resign to try to spare the small progress I’d made on my mental health (spoiler alert: my mental health dropped again anyway).

So now I’m stuck looking for options. To have a job I need to study. To study I need to pay. To pay I need a job...etc.
I had heard IV supports people with mental health problems but can’t find any good info on it as my german isn’t advanced enough for their website (which would be confusing to navigate even in English really). Anyone got any info on what my options are? I’d really appreciate it.
OK OP, we are most definitely the wrong site to find help - many of us have already been there and either don't want to do it again, currently doing it, or going there.

The third lot should have spoken to their GP long ago - it helps! Funnily enough, a good one supports you - also on basic insurance.
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Old 22.01.2018, 19:35
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Re: Broke and depressed - IV?

As I see I have been cited as someone whose been through that experience, I'd better chip in.

First of all, I would say that going through IV should be a last report. Talk to your psychiatrist about your options. As far as financial help is concerned, if you are unable to work and unable to claim unemployment benefits, as a EU citizen you may be eligible for social aid. In French it is called "Revenue d'insertion" - I'm afraid I don't know the German. You have to have assets below a certain amount, and you will have to see a social worker and provide certain information each month, including a medical certificate.

I was receiving this help when I applied for IV, so I'm afraid I can't advise you on getting any help from IV while your application is in process.

As far as applying for IV is concerned, it's a long process. You have to fill out a long form, and the medical professional who is referring you has to do the same.

What then happens is that you go through a year long (at least) process of assessment to see if you are capable of work, and at what percentage. I believe that if you are not receiving any financial support prior to an IV application, you will get financial support whilst doing this.

The first three months are an assessment of whether you are capable of maintaining a steady activity. You will be sent to a centre which provides activities for people on IV. The kind of activity varies, and your adviser will take into account your interests and wishes. I had to have three attempts at this three-month assessment. The first time they sent me to a centre where I did gym, art, round-table discussions and worked on cognitive skills. We also worked on a personal project designed to help our self development. On my second attempt I went to an art and wellbeing centre which offered various artistic activities, drama and yoga. On my third attempt I worked in a centre which catered for people on IV, people with addiction issues and long-term unemployed as an admin assistant (I could also have worked as a housekeeper, catering assistant, done carpentry or other handicrafts, worked as a driver or an trainer in IT skills).

Whatever you do, the aim is the same: to turn up on a daily basis, for an agreed number of hours, and to gradually increase those hours. In one sense, it doesn't matter what you DO during your time there. The goal is just to see if you can stick it out for three months. You work for one month at 20%, the second at 30% and the third at 40%.

If you get through that (and from my experience they will do everything they can to help you get through that), you move on to the next phase. This is a seven-month placement where the aim is to increase your attendance and productivity. I can't remember the exact percentages, but it's something like to work at at least 50%, with at least 80% productivity. These placements are more "work" like. Some centres offer both the first stage and the second stage, some only offer one stage. I did this placement in the same place I did my third attempt at the first stage, working as an admin assistant.

If you can get through those 7 months, then you are assessed as being a good candidate for training (or retraining) and a supported reinsertion into the work place. They will assess you as being fit for work at a certain percentage. I can't tell you anything about that from personal experience, as I failed at that hurdle, but I know of people who were supported to do apprenticeships and even four-year degrees by IV. Their basic rule of thumb is that they will support you to gain a qualification of the same level as the qualifications you already possess.

A slight warning here: I'm not exactly sure how much retraining they will offer to you as an EU citizen. When I was in the programme it was a little unclear. However I was told that, had I managed to get through their assessment phase, they would at the very least have supported me to find work.

If, like me, you just can't manage to get through that assessment year, you will be assessed as being unfit for work. Again, that will be at a percentage. I believe (from the experience of friends) that even if you are assessed as being unfit for work you can still work at a job for up to 30%.

However, and this is a big however, as an EU citizen you will not automatically be entitled to an IV pension even if you are assessed as being unfit for work. I had to go through a whole range of hoops where IV contacted the UK and tried to get them to pay, and it was very messy and complicated and in the end I was refused the right to a pension (by that time I'd left Switzerland and come here so I can't tell you what would happen to a EU citizen living in Switzerland if that happened to you). There were two key factors which led to this decision. One was that my mental health problems had started before I moved to Switzerland. I can't remember all the details but basically the Swiss authorities thought the UK should pay and the UK authorities thought the Swiss should pay. The other factor was that I hadn't paid my AVS for the required number of years - and again, I'm sorry, but I can't remember how many years that was.

So, in short, IV is a long, drawn out process which may or may not result in retraining or a pension at the end.

However, there are some other options.

One is that you ask your psychiatrist or doctor to refer you to an organisation called IPT - Integration for All. I'm 99% certain they operate in Bern. IPT specialise in helping people who have health problems get back into the world of work. They offer a combination of training programmes and supported work placements. I was referred to them before I went to IV. Unfortunately, I wasn't well enough to continue with their programme, but I would say that if you can find some financial help, IPT is well worth investigating before you start the long, drawn out AI process. I have a friend who did a work placement through them and she is still working in the place she did the placement (as a paid employee) some 7 years later. They also have a sister organisation called Jeunes at Work which aims to help young people get a first job, but I don't think that's particularly aimed at people with health issues.

The only proviso I would say with IPT is that it helps if you have some idea of what you would like to do. I used to be a teacher and I was unable to return to that profession and I felt totally at sea as to what kind of jobs I could do in Switzerland with a UK education degree and mental health issues, and I did find that IPT were not that well geared up for providing that kind of career advice. Their training programmes were very scripted and I didn't fit the typical mould. But part of the reason that was so difficult for me was that because of my teaching background I could see ways that their programme could be better and I used to get annoyed... But I think that was my professional instincts getting the better of me!

I hope that helps. I've attached a document which explains about the social security system in Switzerland. But my advice would be, if you can avoid IV, try to as it causes a lot of stress and you may not get anything out of it at the end.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Social Security English.pdf (621.9 KB, 20 views)
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