Liam's story

caba gave me access to an online programme for treating stress, anxiety and depression. It did me a lot of good and made me realise that I have choices. I am much happier at work and at home now.

My wife's a chartered accountant, I actually work as a financial analyst for a large financial firm. My problems at work crept up on me. It was a very stressful time for the team, and looking back, I didn't manage that stress as well as I could have done. The workload was very heavy, I never seemed to get to the end of any task, and everything I did was being judged. I felt very rushed and some comments were made about my output which I felt were very unfair.

I took it all too seriously, and stopped enjoying life. Everything at home was fine - my family were doing well. But I was preoccupied with work all the time, things just went around and around in my head. I wasn't getting enough rest, I wasn't eating very sensibly, I wasn't getting anything out of music or walking. There were times when I had thoughts of jumping in front of a train.

How caba helped me 

I got to a point where I realised I needed to do something about it. I knew I needed help. I rang work and told them that I wouldn't be coming in for a while. I told them about the stress I was experiencing. I was offered a programme of emotional support through work, but I wasn't confident it would be confidential. So my wife suggested caba. I emailed them and had a few phone conversations. My advisor was really nice, very respectful. He listened without judging, and gave me access to an online support programme. It's a step-by-step programme that helps you recognise the causes of stress, anxiety and depression and helps you to overcome your issues. It looks a lot at patterns of thought and you start to realise that maybe, black and white thinking, or exaggerating things in your mind can make you feel worse. The course trains you to have new, more positive thought patterns.

While I was doing the programme, I came to see that one of the things that was contributing to my anxiety was my son. He had recently left home to join the army. There was a lot in the news at the time about young soldiers being hurt, and I now see that I was very fearful for him. I was caught in a loop of pessimistic thinking. Doing the programme made me re-think what my son was doing and realise that I held an overly-negative view. I feel very confident about what he is doing now, and I am able to enjoy his successes. Also, seeking support from caba helped me demonstrate how determined I was to improve my mental state. I think that helped my relationship with my wife and work. At that point I returned to work, and while the environment hadn't changed, I had.

After a spell, the stress got to me again, but this time I recognised it and I went straight to my GP. He encouraged me to have more time off, and focus on the relaxation techniques and what I had learned about thought patterns. It did me a lot of good and made me realise that I had choices. I decided that if I was to stay in such a demanding job, I needed more time to relax, practice music and have time to myself. I asked my employer if I could cut back to a 4-day week and they agreed. I don't think I would have made that decision without having done the online programme. My thinking would have been too narrow to see other options.

I am much happier at work and at home now. I still use what I learnt, not just to stay on top of my thought patterns but also to help me understand my relationships more. I think it has been good for our whole family.

If you are feeling anxious, fed up or that others are asking the impossible of you, you should contact caba without delay. For me, it was the first step on the journey to getting better.



are you eligible for caba's services?

caba supports the wellbeing of past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and their spouses, partners and children up to the age of 25. Our support is free, impartial and strictly confidential. For advice, information and support please click on the button below.

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your questions answered 

Who is eligible for support?

We support past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and the family and carers of members and students. 

  1. No matter where your career takes you, past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England Wales (ICAEW) are eligible for caba’s services for life, even if you change your career and leave accountancy 
  2. ACA students (ICAEW Provisional Members) who are either an active student or have been an active student within the last three years are eligible for caba's services 
  3. Past and present staff members of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's services for life, even if you leave either organisation. Please note, for former employees, our financial support is only available to those who have had five years continuous employment with either organisation 
  4. Family members and carers of either an eligible past or present ICAEW member, ACA student or past or present employee of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's support. We define a family member as a: 
    1. spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner 
    2. widow, widower or surviving civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    3. divorced spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    4. child aged up to 25. Please note, children aged between 16 and 25 are not eligible for individual financial support 
    5. any other person who is dependent on the eligible individual supporting them financially or are reliant on the eligible individual’s care 
    6. any other person on whom the eligible individual is reliant, either financially or for care 

You can find out more about our available support both in the UK and around the world on our support we offer  page. 

Are your services means-tested?

If you need financial support, we carry out a means test where we consider income, expenditure, capital and assets.  

*Please note none of our other services are means-tested. 

I’m an accountant, but not a member of ICAEW, can you still help?

Unfortunately not. We only support past and present ICAEW members, their carers and their families. If we are unable to support you, where possible we will point you to help elsewhere.

caba has supported me in the past; can I receive support from caba again?

We understand that circumstances change. If we’ve helped you in the past there’s no reason why we can’t help you again. You can contact us at any time. Please call us if you need our help.

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