“I’ve always been someone who likes to be busy, but in 2018 I had a lot on my plate. Having been made redundant twice in two years, I was trapped in a job that didn’t suit me, living in a city where I didn’t have a lot of support, and running a charity organisation that I’d started and had become very successful, but was essentially a full-time job all on its own.

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“At the same time, I found out that my thyroid levels were really high. One day at work, everything suddenly just felt like too much. I had what I call a meltdown. I felt low, sad, and like I was off-balance somehow.

“I rang a friend and when she asked me how I was, I finally said it out loud: ‘I’m not the best, actually.’ That gave me the motivation I needed to do something about it. I visited the Beyond Blue website to check out what my options were and that’s when I found out about NewAccess.”

Reaching out

“I’ll be honest – even once I knew about NewAccess, I had my doubts. My self-esteem had taken a hit, so my first reaction was: ‘It sounds great and the fact that it’s free is incredible, but I’m just not worth bothering with. No-one will be interested in my problems.’

“Luckily, I did reach out and I’m so glad I did. 

Chris, my NewAccess coach, was wonderful. We did phone coaching, so I have no idea what he looks like – I only know his voice. That suited me perfectly because a once-a-week phone call made it seem less confronting. I liked that.

“Every week,I had the chance to get things off my chest, but the main focus was always on helping me find solutions to whatever I’d been struggling with. Chris never gave me those solutions – he helped me work them out for myself.

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“After every phone call I felt better. I also had homework to work on before the next call. That was so helpful because apart from anything else, it took my mind off whatever I was worrying or feeling down about.

“The homework was designed to help me get back into healthy habits and routines – things like exercising regularly – and to help me cope better. For me, a big part of that is as simple as writing lists and committing to working through those lists.” 

A new perspective

“I have a different outlook these days. Someone I work with was rude to me recently. In the past, I’d have taken that on myself, beating myself up about it and thinking it was my fault. But now I’m able to stop and think logically. I realised my colleague’s actions were all about her and had nothing to do with me.

“I still have times where I feel low but I’m able to draw on the tools I learned with Chris. I plan and make lists of what I need to do. I stay on track that way.

“For anyone thinking about trying NewAccess, I’d say give it a go. It helped me so much. And more than the fact that you’ve got nothing to lose, know that you’re always important enough to bother about.”

For more information…

You can learn more about how the program works, including finding answers to frequently asked questions, by visiting the NewAccess homepage.

You can also find out whether there’s a NewAccess coaching program currently available in your area, and submit an enquiry online or make a simple phone call to start the ball rolling.

Related reading: NewAccess: a free program to support your mental health

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