“There was no triggering event, it came completely out of the blue. I suddenly started feeling really low and nothing was making me happy. I felt like the world was in black and white, I was numb with no emotions and I was crying all the time.
“I was 17 years old and I had my dream career, working on Ferraris and Aston Martins. I kept thinking to myself that I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I worked only with men and thought I had to be ‘one of the boys’ so I didn’t share what I was feeling… instead I would cry by myself in the toilets.
“I went to the GP and I was diagnosed with anxiety and clinical depression. They prescribed antidepressants and sleeping tablets. I knew I had to tell work, but I was really nervous. My manager was so good about it, really supportive and he told me about Ben. The company had supported Ben a lot over the years but no-one had actually gone to them for support until then. I filled in the relevant forms and, three days later, I heard from a Ben Case Manager. It was so quick, I would have struggled to get a GP appointment in that time and I knew there was a 9 month waiting list for mental health support through the NHS.
“At this point, I wasn’t actively suicidal but I was considering it. My Case Manager sourced a choice of counsellors for me and I chose to go down the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) route. At the time, I didn’t realise how much it had helped me but I started using the methods she had taught me. Looking back, I can see how much it helped.
“Ben’s support gave me the next day. Before, I didn’t have a reason to get to the next day but, after speaking to Ben, I wanted to get to the next day. They reassured me that I wasn’t the only person feeling this way, they made me feel normal about it and comfortable. I now know that I’m not on my own anymore and I’m a lot more grounded. If I ever need it again, I know I’d get support pretty instantly from Ben.
“I genuinely don’t think I’d be here today without Ben.
“I left the job I was in, started my own bodyshop business and I’m doing really well now. I started to use my social media channels to talk about mental health. I used to do a video every Monday on my channels and I had a lot of comments, with others saying they felt the same. One company posted my video on their channels and it encouraged someone to get some support from Ben.
“I want to be the person I needed when I was 17 so I talk about Ben to others so they know there’s help out there. It doesn’t matter how things look on the outside, it’s how you’re feeling on the inside and it’s not always obvious who’s struggling.
“If you’re thinking about getting support, just do it. Typing in the number is the hardest bit. As soon as you talk to someone, it will get so much easier. Even if you think your issues are small, they’re not and Ben is there to help. It can sometimes just be a case of reframing the way you look at something.”
You can also watch Rachel's story on video below...
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