“My eldest daughter, who is 14 years old, was beginning to skip meals. At first, we didn’t think much of it but then we became concerned and took her to the GP. They weighed her, said that there was no problem and that she was fine, but we didn’t fully believe them. We weighed her a week later and she was losing around 1.4kg per week. We were horrified. We felt helpless and in shock.
“I was at work at the time and I was struggling to focus and concentrate. Emotionally, I was in a real mess. I was in a terrible position and spent a lot of time crying, which is unlike me. My boss and colleagues noticed and tried to support me in their own way. It got to the point where it was so bad, I didn’t know what to do.
“I asked for unpaid leave to which they said no. I said, “well, thank you for the seven years I’ve worked here - I resign. Here’s my company car and laptop, I’m leaving”. They looked shocked and said, “when do you want to leave, as the sooner the better”. I walked out. My head was spinning, my heart was racing and my world was upside down.
“I didn’t know where to turn. I spoke to my GP and got signed off sick. My father, who has also been in the motor trade his entire life, told me to call Ben and said they were very supportive. I was completely at sea without an anchor. I was at a loss. I didn’t want to give up my job but they forced me to through a lack of compassion. I was still without a job a few months later.
“My daughter has now been diagnosed with an eating disorder. We went to a local A&E and we were there for about seven hours. We were in tears, didn’t know what to do or where to go. It’s been a very long, difficult journey. We’re still on that journey and she is getting small amounts of support. I was given medication and antidepressants from the GP but there wasn’t any other support for the family.
“When I first called Ben, the man I spoke to on the Helpline was very professional. He made me feel positive, he was very open, warm and reassuring. This immediately gave me hope that there was a tiny bit of light at the end of the tunnel. I was very impressed.
“My Case Manager and counsellor have been more than wonderful. I can’t praise them highly enough. They have been compassionate, thoughtful, professional and caring. I could feel that they really cared, it was really noticeable. They were wonderful and if I could see them and give them a big kiss I would!
“Having had counselling a few years back, I was very open to the experience. My counsellor was very personable, warm and exactly what I needed and wanted. It was superb and gave me a real opportunity to be open with, in essence, a stranger who had no preconceived ideas about me and there was no judgement.
“The support that Ben gave me was inspirational. My counsellor helped by teaching me some very powerful breathing techniques, as well as presenting different opportunities and avenues to consider. I think the medication has helped me too. It has taken the edge off and taken the pain away. I don’t feel as hopeless anymore.
“I feel a million times better - optimistic, positive, happy and that everything is possible. I’m able to laugh, I have hope and inner strength. I was in a very dark, low place that I hadn’t been in before but Ben gave me hope, support and care.
“I’m now going through a career change and I’m in the final stages of joining the Metropolitan police. Hopefully I'll be a fully fledged detective soon.
“I now have a much stronger inner strength, it’s more resolute. I’m able to deal with whatever comes at me, even if it is challenging.
“If you need support, don’t think about it, just do it. Pick the phone up immediately and don’t think a second longer - just do it.”
Mental health support
We asked our team how they personally look after their mental health and wellbeing. From meditation and visualisation to volunteering, yoga and playing piano, our team chooses to de-stress from the pressures of life in a variety of ways!
Stress happens when we have too much pressure. Use these top tips to feel more in control
Breathing deeply can reduce your stress and anxiety levels. When you breathe deeply you improve your heart rate, reduce the stress on your body and even lower your blood pressure
Looking after our wellbeing is good for us now, and can also help us manage difficult times in the future
Our mental health, like our physical health, varies all the time. Looking after our mental health is not only good for us now, it can also help us deal with and manage difficult times in the future
SilverCloud is a digital mental health and wellbeing platform which can help you to better manage your mental health and wellbeing. It’s free for those who work, or have worked, in the automotive industry.
Real life stories
Clive was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in early 2022. He was struggling to pay his rent and bills and felt he had nothing to look forward to.
Matthew lost his mum at 6 years old and then suffered emotional and physical abuse from his dad’s new wife
Rob has spina bifida and sometimes had to ask friends to help him get out of bed as he couldn't afford the electric bed he needed.
Derek was in a motorbike accident that left him disabled and he couldn’t afford to buy the electric wheelchair he needed
Laura was suffering with her mental health and was also struggling to pay the mortgage and feed her family
Jane couldn’t afford a new oven when she lost her job so lived on microwave meals and jacket potatoes for nearly 2 years
Mike was struggling after losing his father-in-law, his uncle’s cancer diagnosis, and starting a busy new job
Winston felt alone after finding out he had Leukaemia. When his boiler broke, he was left for 9 months without heating
Derren discovered he had prostate cancer. He's raising awareness that early detection has good outcomes
Clare hit rock bottom when her grandad died. She was struggling to cope with her grief and suffering with anxiety