Claire praises mental health support which helped her secure new management role
Forty-four year old Claire would like people to feel comfortable talking openly about their mental health and says that more leaders should stand up to set an example.
Her comments come after experiencing challenges with her own mental health in a job that she loved but left after depression led her into an “absolute pit of despair”.
Claire, who works in facilities management, said: “I was off work on sick leave for six months and during that time I was unable to care for myself, my appearance or diet. I don’t doubt I would have attempted suicide if it wasn’t for a combination of support and medication which made a significant impact on turning my life around.”
It was while receiving support from Talking Therapies East Cheshire that Claire was referred to the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service, provided by Remploy and funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The service offers bespoke personal support for anyone struggling with their mental health to help them develop a plan to stay in, or return to, work, as well as coping strategies or reasonable adjustments to help them overcome any barriers they may face.
Claire said: “Remploy always believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. They’ve been with me throughout the whole process of changing jobs. It has been a very personalised service and I couldn’t have done it without them!”
She added: “As a manager, when I shared my own experience of mental health I faced prejudice from some people. When you’re a leader it can be scary because you think everyone’s going to see weakness but I am becoming aware of more people working at a senior level admitting to their mental health challenges too. If more leaders are prepared to stand up and show that we’re all human then it will help, whatever level of job you have.”
For more information about the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service, get in touch on 0300 456 8114, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Mental Health section of our website.