#MHAW Reflections

14th May 2021

As it’s Mental Health Awareness Week I’ve been reflecting back on the last few years of my life.  Five years ago I was in a job that I’d been doing for 10 years.  I loved some aspects of the job and struggled with other parts of it, I had a happy family life, great friends and social activities that I did away from work.  I was happy. 

Then I experienced a family loss and my world came crashing down around me.  I was signed off work and eventually put onto medication to help me with General Anxiety Disorder and stress.  I accessed counselling and started to look for activities to do, that were just for me.  These activities had no agenda, other than, I was allowed to enjoy them. 

Eventually my life started to come back together, I gained a calm and peace, I understood what had happened to me and I’d begun to put things into place, to ensure that this never happened again.  I resigned from my job, and started my own business. My work now involves helping others who were heading for crisis, to stop before they got there, and/or to help them find their own resources and activities, and build their lives back up again. 

Mental Health can rock your world, whether you experience it yourself or someone you love and care for is dealing with it.  What’s great today though is that it’s understood better, talked about more and the stigma surrounding it in the past is now being erased so that people can access the help and support that is needed. 

Today I coach and mentor other people, I offer training and consultancy around mental health, anxiety, low mood and depression, stress, and, grief and loss.  I was happy before I experienced mental health issues, and the strand thing is, I now see that episode as a ‘gift’ and I’ve never been happier with the life that I live.    It’s such a privilege to be offered a window into someone else’s life and help them to see a new story about who they can be. 

Elaine Clarke

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