It’s estimated that one in four of us will be affected by a mental health disorder at some point in our lives. For Emma*, the loss of a close family friend was the trigger for the onset of stress and anxiety.
Having experienced depression in the past, Emma knew she needed to seek help, but after visiting her GP and facing a four month wait to see a counsellor, she turned to the employee assistance programme included in her Westfield Health cover.
Emma said: “All the way through the process it was made clear that I was going to get support and the help I needed.
“The person on the end of the phone was friendly and discreet, always introducing themselves and checking with me that it was a good time to talk.
“When it came to booking my counselling sessions, I was given a choice of locations and times that were convenient with my schedule.
“And they also offered advice at different times of day. For me, having the session after work rather than before works best, so you can go straight home afterwards.
“It took away the sense of stress and panic I was feeling at that time and, now, it’s reassuring that I have that service there if I need it in the future.
“I’ve had a Westfield Health plan for many years, but I’d only ever been aware of the basic benefits such as dental, optical and chiropody.
“People may wonder why the counselling line is there and think they’ll never need it, but for me I really needed it at the time.
“I think my employer would be pleased I used it, too, as without it, I wouldn’t have been at work. It really has been a lifeline.”
*Name changed to protect subject’s identity