“I cannot praise and thank my counsellor for helping me overcome this difficult period in my life. From the first session with her I felt confident in her abilities and immediately felt a burden had been taken off my shoulders. My counsellor had the most wonderful way of listening and gave me the confidence to say exactly how I felt without fear of being judged.
Her highly professional, supportive and encouraging approach allowed me to see my problems from a different perspective and this allowed me to deal and cope with the stressors so much better.
In addition, my counsellor had a kindness and genuine wish to want to help me and this came shining through during the sessions.
I will never forget my counsellor as she has made a difference, such a big difference, to my life.
A big thank you to her for helping me regain my old self, make my life happier and giving me the knowledge to be able to deal with stress more effectively in the future.”
The scale of the nation’s mental health emergency reveals itself week by week. Most recently, NHS data showed that 1 in 6 young people had a mental health problem this year, up from 1 in 9 before the pandemic. A national newspaper survey revealed one in 12 of all adults polled has had panic attacks, and one in 15 has battled suicidal thoughts.
As the crisis surges, mental health charities are calling for additional funding to boost available treatment. Geographical and demographic inequalities accessing mental health services remain. And the role of virtual mental health assessments is also under scrutiny, especially for the young and those struggling with communication problems.
So ahead of this Sunday’s World Mental Health Day, we wanted to shine a light on our counselling services and the power of opening up to overcome mental health issues. We have of course protected the identity of the individual, but the above testimonial is real – in every sense. It is genuine feedback for a BHSF counsellor and it is a powerful endorsement for the value of counselling support.
The psychological healthcare services we provide to millions of UK employees, are delivered by The Employee Resilience Company. This is an extensive team of counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health educators, plus experts on trauma, stress, mediation and resilience.
This breadth of support is also matched by a potent depth of provision as the team’s services have APPTS accreditation status – in other words, the highest level of clinical approval in the UK, as awarded by the Royal College of Psychiatry.
The prestigious mark of approval validates the mental health support excellence we can deliver. It provides reassurance for people accessing the service, whether for the first time as a result of the pandemic, or on an ongoing basis, about the quality of care they can expect to receive.
Managing director of The Employee Resilience Company, Tracey Paxton explains:
“Quality is especially key at the moment, because we are witnessing more multifaceted cases. A personal crisis is often a unique – and increasingly complex – mix of factors. It may be borne out of a particular trauma, but could be compounded by individual circumstances, such as debt worries or caring responsibilities. This is why it is critical that the support offered needs to be just as personalised and rounded. It is about connecting people to a 360-degree package of emotional, financial, and legal support, so that no matter the complexity of a case, the BHSF team will be by an employee’s side until a resolution is reached.”
Speed of support
Fast-track access to this wide-ranging support is the other key success factor, when it comes to making a real difference. If someone is in crisis, being told they can access mental health support in a few weeks or months is no good; they need help there and then. If an employee has a mental health issue, early intervention is needed straight away.
Despite the soaring statistics, many adults still don’t find it easy to open up about mental health problems. Tracey adds: “It can be difficult to change cultural attitudes to mental health. Having depression or anxiety can make a person feel ‘weak’ or ‘a failure’ and they try to cope even when they need help. If you’re experiencing anxiety, stress or depression, the sooner you take steps to address it, the easier it will be. If you wait before seeking help, it can be harder to make changes and break patterns, which means it will be longer before you start feeling better. Some people may feel nervous about discussing how they feel or may worry they might be stigmatised.
“Whatever the concern, the most important thing to remember is that if you are struggling there’s no need to try and ‘muddle through’. If you ask for support, you won’t be wasting anyone’s time; you are as important as anyone else, and our experienced staff and therapists are here for you!”
Sharing survival stories is another way of giving hope to someone else. Mental Health Journey, is our online community space, which allows users to share their experiences and wellbeing journeys. It is designed for people to drop in from time to time and realise they are not alone. We want people to open up and share their personal stories of struggle and whether they have any tips they’d like to offer.