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Cameron’s story: Finding support in difficult times

Cameron reached out to Advice and Support Service, worried about his mental health, worsened by the approaching anniversary of his father’s passing.

Cameron contacted our Advice and Support service via email. In the initial email, he expressed he was going through a difficult time with his mental health and had trouble sleeping. We responded with an offer of a phone call. Cameron agreed to the call, and we scheduled an appointment for the same day.  

During the conversation, Cameron shared that his mental health had worsened due to the approaching anniversary of his father’s passing. The following day would mark 5 years since his father’s death. Grief can be a lifelong process and events like anniversaries can trigger overwhelming feelings that can affect daily life. Cameron, who had been living with depression for a few years, was experiencing problems with sleep and difficulty focusing at work. He was unable to discuss his struggles with his wife due to communication problems and issues in their marriage, leaving him isolated. Cameron also admitted to excessive drinking as a coping mechanism. The weight of his grief and worry felt unbearable and he was concerned about how he would cope during the upcoming anniversary. 

One of our Advice and Support Officers, Petra, provided emotional support by actively listening to Cameron and discussing his struggles.  

Many clients’ stories are very difficult to listen to. The adviser needs to find a balance between being empathetic and creating healthy boundaries. It is also essential to be sensitive when asking clients any additional questions. We always aim to find out as much as we can about the clients’ struggles in order to signpost them to the services that are the most relevant to them and fit their needs the best. 

Cameron informed us that he had consulted his GP and had a counselling appointment in the coming days. He was hoping that counselling would be helpful for him going forward, but he requested contact details for support services available during the weekend. We directed Cameron to local and national mental health support, substance use support, including Alcohol & Drugs Action, bereavement support (Cruse Scotland) and crisis support services like Breathing Space and Samaritans that he could contact if needed. 

“I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to listen to me and really hear what I’m going through. It’s such a relief to have someone to talk to honestly about everything.

“Having those crisis service contacts means the world to me, especially with the weekend coming up. Even if I don’t end up using them, just knowing that they are available takes away so much of my anxiety. Thank you for being there for me.”

Many times , when clients contact the Advice and Support service via phone or email, they are looking for someone to listen to them without judgement. It is essential for them to be able to openly talk about their struggles.

Cameron’s story highlights the importance of reaching out for help during difficult times. Through compassionate listening and tailored support, we aim to provide people like Cameron with the assistance and resources needed to go through some of the most challenging moments with resilience and information at hand. 

support

Our Advice and Support Service is open Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, where advisers can signpost you to local support that most fits your needs, including our Change Mental Health services. We offer initial advice on money worries and help to deal with emergencies. 

Contact 0808 8010 515, email us at advice@changemh.org or fill out the enquiry form on the Advice and Support Service page. 

Breathing Space is a free and confidential phone service for anyone in Scotland over the age of 16 feeling low, depressed or anxious. Phone Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 (6pm to 2am, weekdays and 24 hours at the weekend). 

Samaritans provides 24 hours a day, all-year-round support through various channels, including phone on 116 123, email at jo@samaritans.org, online chat or self-help app.

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