32-year-old Gemma Hill from Bridlington, East Riding, pictured here with her partner Gez Wardle, has been living with post-traumatic stress disorder caused by childhood abuse and is speaking out about the impact stress has had on her life to encourage others in need of support to take action this Stress Awareness Month. Gemma said, “I had a support worker for many years, but I couldn't talk to them properly about what was going on inside my head. They didn't know how to listen to me properly, and so things got pushed to the side making things worse”.
The stress Gemma was under and lack of support resulted in self-harm at which point she sought help from her GP who recommended Gemma start an online text-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with a therapist. “I was suffering from night-terrors and knew I needed help. My GP was really supportive and recommended Ieso CBT which is helping me to put coping mechanisms in place. If I wake from a night-terror, I can now think of it as a movie which I'm directing and take control of the thoughts I'm having. I now have little signs around the house which remind me that the abuse I received as a child isn't my fault and I'm allowed to have bad days” Gemma said.
Gemma added, “For anyone living with stress I would urge them to get help and trust in the people who are there to help you. I couldn't tell someone face-to-face how I was feeling, but the text-based CBT I received from Ieso allowed me to let it all out and find ways to cope. I've found it so much easier to open up to a therapist I didn't know and couldn't see. I feel anxious going out, so Ieso's CBT from home meant that it was based around me and my needs. I would recommend it to anyone and have recommended it to other people I know – even my partner who would never have considered doing anything like this before, but he's seen what a difference it's made to me. I feel like I've improved 50% from when I started Ieso CBT. I know how hard it is to take that first step in seeking help and the courage it takes, but I really believe if you're living with stress it's got to be worth a try to help you find a way to cope” Gemma said.
· 60% of under 35s in East Riding have experienced stress and 55% have suffered poor sleep as a result of worry or stress. The research, commissioned for Stress Awareness Month amongst 100 people aged 16-35 in East Riding highlights the need for greater support for those who are living with the damaging impact of stress
· 66% of people in East Riding said they would feel uncomfortable asking for time off for a mental health appointment
· 85% agreed that organising appointments with a therapist outside of education/work hours was appealing
· 66% of responders agreed they would be more likely to seek help or start therapy if they knew no one would find out
· 69% agreed they would be more likely to seek help or start therapy if they could do it when and where it was most convenient for them
· 74% of respondents felt that online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) delivered by therapists in real-time through written conversation via a computer, tablet or smartphone was an appealing therapy over face-to-face CBT. 69% believe online therapy would be more convenient to receive and 62% were interested in finding out more about it
· Just 30% of respondents were aware that CBT is available online, yet 62% agreed that they would be encouraged to use it if they knew it was available online
· People over the age of 18 who are registered to a participating GP in East Riding can self-refer for free to benefit from Ieso online CBT at https://eastriding.iesohealth.uk/Registration. Ieso Digital Health is the leading provider for online therapy on behalf of the NHS in the UK. Ieso Digital Health is providing services on behalf of the NHS in East Riding