Finding a future by understanding the past

“There were some difficult times in my childhood,” says 32 year old Rebecca who sought help from Able Futures mental health support service, for her feelings of anxiety and depression.

“Looking back I realise that I put these traumas into my own ‘Pandora’s Box’ and I knew at some stage the lid would open and I’d have to deal with the difficult memories inside. You can’t keep things locked away forever. It just hurts you all the more.”

Rebecca has a senior role as a premium service desk executive. Her daily responsibilities involve ensuring that the communication and business needs of clients are fully met and all technical issues are dealt with quickly and effectively.

“I work for a telecommunications company and I saw a general email to staff that promoted the range of services that Able Futures offers,” explains Rebecca who lives in Lancashire. “I had already taken a month off work. A friend of mine had previously engaged with Able Futures and recommended that I complete the online assessment. So I decide to go ahead."


"I felt able to unload some of the emotional burden that is at the crux of my trauma.”

First meeting with Able Futures

Able Futures, which delivers the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, provides access to support at no charge and regular appointments with a vocational rehabilitation consultant.

“I went with no expectations at all. I understood that the role of their vocational rehabilitation consultants (VRC) was to help participants become more confident and be able to identify and manage their issues.

“My VRC is Helen Wilkinson and our first meeting went very well. I became quite upset, but I felt able to unload some of the emotional burden that is at the crux of my trauma.”

Opening Pandora's box

As well as handling the pressures of work in a fast paced environment, at the same time Rebecca was also studying for her UK Citizenship.

As part of the citizenship process, there is a practical test that requires knowledge about past events and historical figures relevant to the history of the British Isles.

“My husband is English and I was born in America. I am learning so much about UK history to achieve the required grade,” explained Rebecca. “Again, I felt the pressure because I want my permanent home to be in this country with my partner.”

A positive mental difference

Rebecca’s initial meeting with her VRC was in April 2019 and she continues to get regular support from Helen via phone calls and face-to-face meetings. 

“I am managing my emotions in a much better way now,” said Rebecca. “I feel confident enough to make a decision about what is good for me rather than putting everyone else’s needs before my own.”

“My sleep patterns have improved and I am following my bedtime routine that includes relaxing breathing exercises, going to bed at 9.00pm and no watching TV or monitoring the mobile phone as I am resting.

“I am so glad that I went to Able Futures, they didn’t judge me and were very supportive. I believe that people can see a positive difference in me.”

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Access to Work Mental Health Support Service: Freephone 0800 321 3137