"I genuinely don’t know where I would be now without the support I received from LionHeart"
When Stephen called LionHeart he had been having thoughts of suicide and was really frightened of how he was feeling.
He’d gone through a recent divorce and was struggling with the lack of contact with his children.
He had, he said, previously had suicidal thoughts and “full intentions of acting on them”, adding: “Two years passed where I used excessive alcohol and additional work commitments to push me through it, meaning that I hadn’t dealt with the problem, merely covering over the underlying issues.
“Then I could feel myself slipping back to that way of thinking. This time I went to the GP and I was told I needed to speak to a professional.”
Stephen happened to attend a presentation by LionHeart at his workplace just before Christmas, and it struck a chord with him. He decided he would make the call to see if we could help.
He said: “The entire process, from that very first call, speaking to a support officer while I waited to be put in touch with my allocated counsellor, was all dealt with in the most professional, compassionate and appropriate way.”
Because he had expressed suicidal thoughts, LionHeart’s support staff had to follow certain safeguarding procedures but Stephen was then quickly able to begin counselling with one of our BACP counsellors.
In their weekly sessions, they talked about his current feelings, about his marriage and divorce, and gradually worked through other underlying issues that went back several years.
“The counselling itself was unreal, an experience I had not had before,” said Stephen.
“Each week I felt stronger, equipped with a toolbox of strategies to prevent it happening again, the ability to open up and tell my counsellor things I haven’t, and probably won’t ever tell anyone else.
“I could feel myself being steered back to the dark place I had been in before and I was scared about what it could have meant - I genuinely don’t know where I would be now without the support I received from LionHeart .”
*Names changed to protect identities. Photo posed by model.