Scott's story

As a small business owner and young father, the pandemic brought tremendous pressure for me. I expected too much of myself and became overwhelmed - it made me ill. caba provided counselling, and I now have a better understanding who I am and what I need. I am more resilient and take much better care of myself as a result. 

How caba helped me

Lockdown was one of the darkest periods of my life. The government were asking accountants to do a lot more than manage people’s tax returns, and clients were experiencing huge stress, which in turn they put onto us. I had staff working from home, and I was under so much pressure I didn’t have oversight to see if they were achieving what they needed to, I just didn’t have capacity to support them.

I have always breezed through education and done well in business. Then suddenly there was over a year where I felt sick - or was actually sick - everyday. I had so many stress hormones racing through my body, it just became normal to be in crisis. I responded by ignoring what was going on, which meant things got worse and ultimately we lost half our clients.

Two of my friends died due to suicide during lockdown. Things got very frightening. I ended up sobbing on my kitchen floor. It was then that I called caba. They saw that I needed help fast and got me access to a counsellor very quickly. With support I realised that I did in fact have the capacity to look after myself. My self awareness increased and I worked on my mental-fitness.

My life now

It’s been a journey – but life is good again. Business isn’t quite where I need it to be yet, but I am optimistic and the family are in great shape – it’s a happy home again. I do the things I know keep me resilient – for me it’s meditation, fitness and cold showers. And being much more aware and open about how I feel and what I need.

My advice

If you need support, consider contacting caba. For me, calling them was like a mental-health-999, but you don’t need to wait until things are at crisis. It could have been a lot easier for me if I had got support earlier. Things started getting better for me from the very first day I called them. 

our emotional support

If you're worried about your mental health and wellbeing, talk to us. From a listening ear, to counselling sessions with a qualified counsellor, we'll help you work through any difficulties you're facing.

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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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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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