How Canopi helped an NHS consultant to overcome symptoms of depression and anxiety

Gemma is a consultant in the NHS. Between the challenges of work and training, she often felt like an imposter and experiencing suicidal thoughts. Read about Gemma’s journey and how seeking support from Canopi helped her become a happier, healthier version of herself.

With thanks to Gemma who has shared her story in the hope that more people will feel empowered to contact Canopi for support with their mental health. 

As a senior registrar, I started to suffer with imposter syndrome and work-related anxiety.  Due to the ongoing stigma that I already felt being a less-than-full-time trainee, I didn’t want to add mental health problems on top of this, so I told no-one. 

My sleep started to suffer. My belief in myself as a mother, a wife, a clinician, and as a friend eroded away and I had to be forced into applying for consultant jobs.  

I did apply, and was successful in securing a locum position. When I took up my locum consultant post, I felt a lot of pressure to be completely flexible and adaptable to the department’s demands, always looking towards gaining a substantive post. Thischipped away at my resilience; no one would have thought I was suffering inside and having regular suicidal thoughts. 

At home, I started to have nightmares about going into work and displayed depressive symptoms, unable to interact with my children or find any enjoyment in socialising or exercising.  It brought back a lot of unpleasant memories from a previous traumatic relationship I had been in, and I felt myself spiralling downwards. 

I did not want to go to my GP, and I didn’t want to tell my manager.  I had gently tried to tell a couple of colleagues in work, and no-one reached out or followed up. 

I was lost.  

When I finally contacted Canopi (sobbing through my referral phone call), I felt supported from the get-go.  I was even more fortunate to be matched with a wonderful therapist and attend online sessions from the comfort of my own home, at convenient time for me. 

My therapist’s gentle guidance helped me to open up and talk about the abuse I had previously suffered, and to gain the courage to seek help from my GP. I felt that I could finally be honest and start this journey towards a healthier and happier version of myself.

My mental health crisis affected not only me, but my husband, my three children and my friends.  Without the support of Canopi, I think that there is a very real chance I would not be here, and I don’t say that lightly.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment and development of the service. What you are doing really and truly matters and makes a difference.

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If you work for the NHS or social care in Wales and need support with your mental health, we are here to help.