I have been a qualified Architect since 2000 with a good salary and never expected to be in a situation where I would need to ask for support. I felt like I should be able to look after myself. I recognised symptoms of depression, and my panic attacks began to get worse. While my family did try to help me, they live overseas so there was only so much they could do. I was worried we were going to lose the house and I would have to move into rented accommodation, but then I worried about how I would afford rent. Then, as I focused on searching for a new job, I found out my son had been bullied at school. It broke my heart. I knew if I returned to a similar job in architecture, I would continue to work the long hours required in the industry and I wouldn’t be able to be here for him. I worried more.
I had heard of ABS, but I was convinced there were so many people worse off then me and didn’t want to take support away from anyone else so when I finally approached them it was out of desperation.
The Welfare Caseworkers took the time to listen to everything that was going on. I felt understood. ABS was able to give me financial support to take some of the pressure away around paying my mortgage and bills and they were able to guide and support me without judgement.
They recognised how important my wellbeing is and referred me to Anxiety UK for counselling sessions. The membership which I get for a year has included many helpful resources and the sessions have made such a difference. I feel more able to cope.
I began to feel less on edge all the time and was able to have the space to be more present and spend time with my son. This made me realise that it didn’t matter if I continued in a senior position, I needed a job with consistent hours. Due to my specific skillset, I was struggling with getting my CV noticed so ABS have now referred me to Renovo. From the first meeting with my mentor, I immediately knew this was the right decision and felt empowered. I look forward to being able to support and be there for my son while focusing on my own architectural business.
I would like to add that I was receiving Universal Credit at the time, but they look at you based on your previous salary and so support was very minimal. I had also tried to contact my GP to get counselling but was unable to get an appointment for many months.
Words cannot describe the immense gratitude I have for ABS. Just knowing they are there has helped take a tremendous amount of pressure off. I want to try harder because I know I have such an incredible support network. They have given me the sense that things will get better, I will make them better and I will get through this.”
*Name has been changed and stock photography used for confidentiality.