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Antonia, Cabinet Office

Antonia came to London to work in immigration for the Civil Service and was enjoying her twenties working hard, socialising and spending time with her boyfriend.

However, despite being a confident person generally, Antonia has always been a worrier and she started to experience anxiety when she was in situations she felt she couldn’t control. She would feel panicky, her heart rate would rise and quite often she would end up in tears.

It was in the workplace that she began to feel the most stressed especially when expected to deal with last minute requests or when asked to do something new. Anxiety at work reflected into her personal life and her relationship broke-down.

“I was at breaking point and I didn’t know how I could make it better.”

One day at work the Charity was doing presentations in her building and part of it was about mental health issues. The information given struck a chord with Antonia and she took up the offer of an initial conversation to see how the Charity might be able to help.

That 30 minute chat set Antonia on a path that was to drastically improve her wellbeing. She was referred to speak to Anxiety UK and describes the phone-call as the “best 90 minutes of her life.”

“It all happened really quickly. I then spoke to Anxiety UK on the phone and it really was the best 90 minutes of my life. They offered support and it was just life-changing.”

She went on to have sessions of CBT at Anxiety UK which were paid for by the Charity. Whilst initially doubting the difference cognitive behavioural therapy could make, Antonia now can’t speak highly enough of the treatment she received and the difference it has made to her health.

By the time she had finished the sessions, Antonia had gained a new job on promotion and is now reunited with her boyfriend and in a much happier position. She is once again viewed as a high flyer at work and wants to make sure that she helps other people who may be struggling with wellbeing issues in her department. From talking about mental health issues during a lunch and learn group to joining the work well network at the Cabinet Office, Antonia is now using her personal experiences to try to help others.

Antonia said: “I recently had my end of year review and it is completely different from the one I would have had a year ago. I’ve got my mojo back and ultimately the help has changed my life.”

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