Twenty-eight-year-old Amy Jackson realised that her anxiety was holding her back in life. Amy reached out to MyWellbeing IAPT service and has never looked back, crediting the service with giving her a new lease of life. Amy is now using her own experience to encourage other people to get support as she backs Mental Health Awareness Week (15 – 21 May).
Amy sadly lost both her stepfather and auntie within months of each other when she was twenty years of age. This was the catalyst for anxiety and low mood that was managed through medication until Amy decided to seek help. Amy benefited from enrolling on an online group course available through MyWellbeing IAPT service, leading to a boost in mood and tools to manage anxiety that has had a life changing impact on her life.
Elaborating further Amy explained: “I first started with anxiety when I was about twenty, just after my stepdad passed away. I was also diagnosed with depression at the age of 15, so the anxiety and depression have kind of gone hand-in-hand. I’d lost my stepdad and four months later I lost my auntie, all in the same year. It had a really big impact. I was trying to support my mum and didn’t deal with the bereavement or grieve properly myself, which is what I think caused the anxiety. I didn’t know what to do with any sort of emotion I felt or how to deal with it. This made me feel even more anxious. I didn’t want to leave the house or see people. I shut myself off, which didn’t help with the depression. I was on and off medication and I felt so bad that I was willing to try anything to tackle the issue.”
Amy continued: “I’d been on a one-to-one course with another provider, but it didn’t work for me, so I was a little bit apprehensive about doing another course. The MyWellbeing IAPT course was absolutely brilliant and being in a group setting was actually a lot better for me. Even though it was online you had the choice of turning your laptop camera on so you could connect with the group. There was also a chat box so you could read how everyone else was doing. This made me realise that other people were feeling the same as me, so I didn’t feel abnormal for being anxious or having low mood. The group was lovely and so supportive. It was great to hear how people were benefiting from the course as it progressed over the six-week period.
“I’ve never been able to deal with my anxiety very well, so the course has made a real difference. I’m no longer on medication and feel the best I’ve felt in years. I still have the odd bad day, but I’ve got the supporting material to refer back to when I need it and can practice the useful exercises if I’m ever feeling anxious.
Amy credits the course with improving her emotional wellbeing and is encouraging others who are considering getting help to go for it. Amy said: “I’m feeling amazing since I’ve been on the course and would advise anyone thinking of seeking help to do it as it can be lifechanging.”
Naomi Holdsworth from Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s MyWellbeing IAPT Service and on behalf of Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership, said: “Its really brave of Amy to share her anxiety experience and how the MyWellbeing IAPT Service has helped her, we’re hoping that Amy’s story will encourage others to seek support. Amy’s story also supports this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (15 – 21 May) as anxiety is the theme.
“MyWellbeing IAPT Service is a free NHS service to help people manage everyday problems such as feeling low, having problems sleeping, feeling anxious and experiencing stress. If you’re experiencing any of these, please access the service to receive support or if you know someone that needs this support, direct them to the service. The service is open to anyone over the age of 16 who is registered with a GP in Bradford, Wharfedale, Airedale or Craven. People don’t have to go through their GP to access support. People accessing support can register online at www.bmywellbeingiapt.nhs.uk.
“On Saturday 20 May we will have the Lego Brick walk experience at the Broadway Shopping Centre (outside Marks and Spencer) from 11am to 2pm. This is an example of how anxiety can be triggered and would encourage people to come and take part, no booking is required, all we ask is that you bring your own pair of socks.”
For mental health support visit: www.healthyminds.services