How Active Monitoring helped me tackle my anxiety
*Active Monitoring is now called supported self-help.
Chetan, from Haverfordwest, explains how our Active Monitoring service helped him deal with stress and anxiety.
I have always thought of myself as a very confident man. I had never had any mental health issues before, until anxious thoughts started to interfere with my life last year. It was a very unfamiliar feeling to me, suffering with low mood and becoming totally overwhelmed by a number of issues that were causing me stress.
There is definitely still a stigma when it comes to mental health, especially for men. It is harder to open up, and there is much less chance of us acknowledging our feelings.
As part of my training to become a GP, I was often recommending Active Monitoring to my patients who came in dealing with mild to moderate mental health problems, so one day I decided to try it myself.
Active Monitoring is a guided self-help programme which can help people cope with a number of different mental health problems, including stress, grief and loss, depression, and more. It empowers you to manage or control your feelings, and you are helped along by weekly check-ins from a local Mind practitioner.
My first impressions were good. I was pleased that my practitioner was so well trained - she focused on a strategic method for us to work together, and we decided on the part of the programme that concentrated on anxiety to help with how I had been feeling so overwhelmed. She was so knowledgeable and helpful, and it was great to have someone there to listen. I started to feel the difference almost immediately.
The biggest change was that when I acknowledged my anxiety, it was easy to see exactly how it had affected me.
That then enabled me and my practitioner to find interventions that worked for me. I found that mindfulness helped me enormously to cope with my day-to-day anxiety.
My anxious thoughts had previously made everything more difficult. I knew that I was good at my job, but it was made so much harder when I had to simultaneously deal with those feelings.
When I started Active Monitoring, it was like a sudden relief – I could breathe easier, and I could manage my days better.
I would definitely recommend Active Monitoring to anybody else who was suffering with anxious thoughts or stress the way I was.
I think everybody should have access to a service like this – with long waits for mental health support, it would be wonderful for everyone to have a trained practitioner to talk to about any mental health problems they may have. I have also had a great response from the patients I have recommended Active Monitoring to, which is wonderful to see. The most important thing is that it helps fight against that stigma of mental health issues – I’m happy I sought help when I did.
Chetan lives in Haverfordwest and is training to become a GP.
If you live in Wales and are over 18, Active Monitoring can help you with managing and being in control of your feelings. The six-week guided self-help course can help with any of the following:
- Depression / low mood
- Feeling alone
- Managing anger
- Grief and loss
Each week, an Active Monitoring Practitioner will send information and workbooks, and call to offer support and guidance.
Information and support
When you’re living with a mental health problem, or supporting someone who is, having access to the right information - about a condition, treatment options, or practical issues - is vital. Visit our information pages to find out more.
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Blogs and stories can show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood and listened to. We can use it to challenge the status quo and change attitudes.