My name is Ben and I came for counselling with We Hear You as unfortunately my father passed away in late 2014. I came into contact with We Hear You via my school who had a link with We Hear You and were providing counselling services to the school at that time. I saw Ruth for about 12 to 16 weeks. I sort of knew how it would work, but there was no rush: it was quite sort of at my pace and it was very much tailored to me which was really helpful.
In general, there’s a stigma around mental health and asking for help, but I think as a young male that stigma’s even worse. I think because you sort of see yourself as having to be this big tough character, it really does affect men. I think what I would say to anyone is, don’t be afraid to ask for that help, because if you don’t ask for that help you’re not necessarily going to get through it on your own, and trying to go through it on your own is ten times tougher than asking for that help.
When you’re going through grief and everything you don’t want to be worrying about money as well and I think having that free resource available is a lifeline. It makes you feel like you can go for it and you haven’t got to worry about the cost implications or anything like that. I think that makes the service more open and accessible to a broader range of people. So, Ruth sort of taught me to be, to sort of reflect on situations fully and not beat myself up about things that are out of my control. I’m quite critical of myself in everything that I do, because I want to strive for the best and sometimes I sort of think back to the counselling and say ‘stop’ and say ‘actually I’ve done alright and I couldn’t have done any better’. Everything else that’s happened is outside of my control, but also it’s about being open and talking about my feelings because before I had counselling I couldn’t really do that - I couldn’t really express myself, I didn’t feel comfortable expressing myself but since Ruth and the counselling that I had, it’s showed me that it’s nothing to be ashamed of if you’re emotional be emotional, if you get angry about things it’s normal and I think for me that’s really helped me to open up with my emotions.