If you’ve ever been affected by depression,
anxiety or stress, you’ll know that it can be a
vicious circle. The more you worry about the
issues that are affecting you, the more stressed,
anxious and depressed you become. And the only
way out is to break that circle, which is not always as
easy as it seems.
Being depressed or highly stressed can affect
all areas of your life, especially in relation to work.
Many people have to leave their jobs as the feel
that they can’t cope, which can then lead to further
depression as they feel they have nothing to get up
for in the morning.
However, an innovative new scheme provided
by A4e has has been helping people affected by
depression, anxiety and stress to return to work. The
approach is based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
(CBT) and delivered by the Occupational Support
Service, headed up by psychologist Dr William Fear.
Stress and depression can affect
people in many ways – but a
new provision is helping people
to work through their problems
and get back to work
Working towards w
The service was started in the Pathways to Work
programme, and has been expanded for use within
A4e and other occupational health-related services.
According to Dr Fear, it’s a very innovative
provision. ‘It’s not the same old condition
management programme that people are used to,’
he says. ‘We have developed a provision that helps
people return to work, whether they are on benefits
or sickness absence.
‘In the past, people thought you needed to do
something different for each group of people who
were out of work. But we’ve found that our service
works equally well for all groups.’
A4e’s CBT-based provision was first developed
and used by Dr Fear’s team in Wales. Realising
that something different was needed to encourage
people back to work, Dr Fear and his team carried
out extensive in-house research to develop the
approach. Based on a number of existing methods
including CBT, Motivational Interviewing and
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, the focus of