Managing mental health

Amanda writes:

“I have suffered with anxiety for many years now and I am lucky to have had the ongoing advice and support from both health professionals and Sackers.

At the beginning, I found it difficult to talk, especially to the people closest to me and therefore decided to seek professional advice. My GP made me aware of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and after speaking with HR they reminded me of the benefits available to me as a Sackers’ employee. I therefore contacted AXA about using my Private Medical Insurance for CBT sessions. It was so easy to arrange, and the AXA consultants were so helpful and made me feel “normal” and not embarrassed about how I was feeling. As a result, I attended CBT on a regular basis at a venue of my choice (fortunately it was based five minutes away from Gresham Street) in my lunch hour. Even now, when suffering with an episode of anxiety I will refer back to my coping strategies I learnt from my CBT.

From time to time I find it helpful to revert to our firm’s EAP website where it has provided me with loads of fact sheets, various webinars (Mindfulness is one of my favourites!) and also external links for additional help and support. One way I have gained support is via the Cityparents network which has opened my eyes to ways of dealing with my anxiety not just on a personal level but in my role at work.

I used to keep it all bottled up inside, hidden away like a dirty little secret, but one thing I have learnt over the years is that there are more people suffering with mental health these days and its not something to be ashamed of. Since Sackers appointed our Mental Health First Aid Champions, I also now feel confident enough to talk about the way I am feeling with them too.

Believe me, you are not alone.”