Priya's Story

This festive season we look back at those we have helped, Priya is one of the many people that we have supported over the years with our mental health support. For our #AnxietyArch campaign this year, we are asking for people to raise awareness and money to help support more people experiencing mental ill health. We have been able to offer people wellbeing assessments, access to one to one therapy and email or helpline support. Our support is fast and free for the beneficiary. Going through the NHS can result in long waiting times - many months - which can make the situation worse. Through our partnership with Anxiety UK, our beneficaries are often able to access help within two weeks.

Please consider giving this Christmas to our #AnxietyArch campaign, to help fund this service for more people in need. Below, you will find Priya's story and how this support has helped her. You can make a regular or one off donation here.

"I had always been in and out of anxiety and depression, which stemmed from teenage years. I was heavily bullied at school and I thought university would be a fresh start for me. However, I lost my grandmother during the first year of my Architecture degree. Losing her was devastating, and I thought I would receive support from my course mates. But, because of the competitive nature of many of my peers, I was told time and time again by hurtful people to not burden my problems on others and that no one was interested. I decided to shut myself off from many people, while taking a long time to grieve.

My confidence got better during the years and I am now successfully a qualified Architect. I have been so determined to have a purpose and make a name for myself, so I got involved in taking part in many extra-curricular activities such as public speaking, running workshops, charity work and more.

 

I had this urge to feel accepted by others that I started to doubt myself, whether everything I was doing was making a difference. I still felt I couldn’t share my true feelings with anyone.

I was struggling to balance this hectic life I built for myself with the quiet life that I desperately needed in order to wind-down once in a while. I contacted ABS for support. It was all dealt with so quickly, within a matter of days. I was booked to have Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) sessions and general counselling sessions.

 

Since then, I have started to identify the triggers that could affect my mood. I have changed my lifestyle so that I incorporate trips to the gym to improve my physical health, and I do meditation every night before going to bed. My sleep has improved as a result, and I make sure I plan my days better so that I don’t overwhelm myself too much. I keep a very good balance between work and social; making time to network with my colleagues and professionals, as well as my friends and family. I continue to be an ABS ambassador, a Wellbeing Ambassador at work, and a Mental Health First Aider. I believe in the work that ABS does and would encourage others to not be afraid to admit when something is not OK. It will take time, but small steps can lead to a bigger chance of self-acceptance and, most importantly, happiness."

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