It is the users of Ceridian’s Employee Assistance Programme who are best able to explain the positive impact and support it offers. Here is one user’s story.

Why did you use the LifeWorks EAP service?

The last six months of 2012 was a difficult time. I can’t put my finger on one reason for the stress that I experienced. Instead, there were many factors involved including a series of events occurring at work and in my personal life. All of this led me to feel that I wasn’t in control any more. I had reached my limit for tolerance of change.

I felt anxious, I became irritable and indecisive and I withdrew from social activities. My husband was concerned and he encouraged me to “snap out of it”. But I felt so low that it was hard to imagine ever feeling positive again. Sleep was also an issue and the lack of it made me more emotional and less able to cope with the problems I faced during the day.

Little things that I would usually brush aside seemed like huge obstacles that I just couldn’t handle. By the end of 2012, I struggled to get out of bed each day. I had also stopped talking to people about how I felt.

On one particular day I had travelled to London for a series of meetings. Half way through the day, something inside me cracked and I broke down. I wanted to end it all. I don’t remember much about the rest of that day but I do know that our HR Director telephoned that evening and suggested I see a doctor and talk to LifeWorks. My G.P. signed me off work with stress. This gave me some time to reflect on what I was going through and to call LifeWorks.

I was nervous about calling LifeWorks and telling a stranger how I felt. But the consultant was so friendly and compassionate that I felt quickly at ease.

How did LifeWorks help you?

After an initial chat, the consultant put me through to a telephone counsellor who talked in more detail about what I was experiencing. I learnt about the importance of getting a good night’s sleep and the role of a healthy diet in managing stress. This prompted me to buy a new bed the next day and made me evaluate my eating habits. At the time I was having up to three chocolate bars a day; something I had done for most of my life. Now I understand that sugar highs and lows can cause adrenal fatigue which, in turn, contributes to stress.

Following my phone call, LifeWorks referred me to a local counsellor for some counselling sessions. Once again I was nervous about attending the first session as I didn’t know what to expect. I felt like a fraud because my issues seemed small compared with what others face. Nobody had died and I should have been able to cope with my issues alone. But the counsellor was amazing. She helped me work through my issues and didn’t judge me at all. We also worked together to find coping mechanisms for handling all of the change I was facing.

LifeWorks helped me get through a difficult period in my life. I would recommend the service to anyone.

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