Susan is answering the call to recovery from PTSD

Published by MAXSolutions on June 28, 2022
Susan smiles as she "rings the bell" to celebrate getting a job.


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects around 12 in every 100 Australians during their life*. Susan is one of those. 


According to Beyond Blue, PTSD is a set of reactions that can develop in people following a traumatic event that threatened their life or safety, or that of others around them. This might include feelings of panic, extreme fear, helplessness and horror.

It is common for those with PTSD to struggle with anxiety and/or depression, alcoholism and drug use. 

For Susan, her PTSD couples with anxiety. She is especially anxious about being around and communicating face-to-face with other people. 

When she came to the MAX Disability Employment Service (DES) team in late 2021, Susan had been out of the workforce for a number of years. While she had worked in childcare prior to experiencing trauma, thanks to her PTSD, working with large groups of children and their families was no longer an option.

She had lost confidence in herself, her ability to represent herself in an interview and start a new job working with new people. 


Her MAX team got alongside her, getting to know and understand her and her condition, her limitations and her strengths. 

They helped her see the great range of transferrable skills she had to offer an employer, supported her to refresh her resume, and opened her eyes to different careers that might suit.

When a job became available with Compass Group through our Employer Partnership team, Susan’s consultant Bailee suggested she apply.

Susan was understandably anxious, but the team provided her with support to grow her confidence as she prepared for the interview including conducting multiple mock interviews.

She thrived in the interview setting and the Compass Group Australia team were willing to offer her a job. 

Not only that, acknowledging her anxiety in face-to-face settings they offered her an alternative role within the call centre at the Wellcamp quarantine facility outside of Toowoomba.


While Susan experienced some challenges settling in and learning to interact in a new team, the supportive Compass Group team helped her to overcome those challenges. 

The call centre environment is perfect for Susan and she has now settled into her new role and is flourishing. “They love her out there,” says her MAX consultant Bailee. 

“Getting back out there again has given her the confidence she needed. Originally that was her fear, but it’s actually been what has strengthened her again,” says Bailee.  

Susan shares about her experience:

“Working with Compass Group I have met a great group of people, we all get along and everyone is very understanding. I enjoy feeling useful again and my confidence has improved,” says Susan.  
“The best part about working for Compass Group is their open door policy – this means if I have any problems, managers are always available and very helpful,” she says. 

It’s their commitment to diversity and inclusion that has seen many of our customers from diverse backgrounds like Susan, settle into long term work with Compass Group across Australia. 

Over the past 10 years, Compass Group has proactively recruited Australians living with disability while also promoting and encouraging a culture of inclusivity within their workplaces. During this time, they have seen the number of employees that identify as living with disability increase from three to 194.  

“Compass Group is a world leader in catering and support services and like us at MAX, they passionately believe work transforms people's lives. We work alongside Compass Group to help them achieve their goal of creating a dynamic and diverse workforce reflective of the communities in which they serve,” says National Partnership Manager, Jessica Dewan. 
“In 2021 we supported over 100 customers into work with Compass Group, including seven living with disability, 14 culturally and linguistically diverse, 33 Indigenous, 20 youth and 88 who were previously experiencing long term unemployment,” she says.

Susan is one of 46 customers in the Toowoomba region that have started working with Compass Group since the beginning of 2022. 


Image: Susan ‘rings the bell’ at the MAX office in Toowoomba to celebrate landing the job. 

*Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Stress and trauma - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (

Thank you to Beyond Blue for their insights into PTSD. Source:

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