Madeline's story

Madeline struggled with mental health problems after a very challenging childhood that included trauma. Eventually this meant that she needed to take early retirement. She also had restricted mobility that meant living in her home was unsafe. caba helped Madeline with counselling, debt advice, access to benefits and a grant to adapt her home and make it safe.

I have always struggled with my mental health and clinical bouts of depression and anxiety meant that I have had to have about 3 months off a year for most of my career. I was hardworking the rest of the time, and my employers were very supportive in helping. They provided some counselling, but when eventually work got to much, I had to take early retirement, and the counselling stopped. My income reduced which meant my family got into some debt. I was very overwhelmed. I called caba, and they were able to help me access the services I needed to regain my independence and achieve peace of mind.

how caba helped me

caba recognised that I needed specialised mental health support and funded a counsellor who specialised in childhood abuse. They also helped me get across the debt, consolidate it and work out a payment plan to resolve it. This worked and we are now no longer in debt. They also saw that because I was unable to work, I should apply for Independence Payments. I didn’t know about that and definitely wouldn’t have thought of it on my own. The form was long and complicated, but my caba advisor came to my home and calmly went through it with me. Again, that would have been too much for me on my own, but they helped so much.

Around that time I had a fall getting out of the bath, which really frightened me. I could have been very seriously injured and I told caba about it. They arranged for an occupational therapist to come to my house and assess my mobility needs. The therapist said that the bathroom needed turning into a wet-room with an accessible shower and handles. This would have been expensive but caba were able to help with a grant.

caba were supportive and empathetic. They really listened to what was going on for me and acted straight away. 

my life now

If I didn’t have caba I don’t like to think about what my life would be like. Because I would be in a terrible financial state and wouldn’t have known to access disability payments. And also, the counselling really helped. It was emotionally difficult, but it shifted something for me, and I much more optimistic and resilient than I was. I get a lot of support from my community, and I am able to give back too, I now volunteer for a charity. It’s great be part of a team and to know that I am doing something of value. 

my advice

Don’t be afraid, caba are there to help you. It can feel overwhelming if you are struggling with mental health, but you can get the help you need. I am more resilient and positive person now because of the counselling I had. It is possible.

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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find out more about our mental health services

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You can access our self-help content for mental health

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we offer a range of training and events that can help your career

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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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