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Kick-starting a career: Sarah’s Big Life journey

Working at The Big Life group has provided a lot of opportunities for me to progress my career in mental health.

I’ve worked at The Big Life group for nearly four years, working in a variety of different mental health services. My journey started at The Sanctuary, in Wigan, where I was supported people overnight who were in crisis. It was a challenging role, but I gained lots of important skills and experience of working with people with mental health problems. After a year, I decided to apply for a similar support worker role, but this time on the day time crisis line, which gave me the opportunity to develop my counselling skills over the phone.

About a year ago, I decided I’d gained valuable skills and experiences to take on a new challenge. So, I decided to apply for a role as an eTherapy Coordinator. In this role, I support people using one of our many eTherapy packages, which provide online therapy for anxiety and depression. I carry out assessments and monitor people’s recovery and progress.

Working at Big Life has provided a lot of opportunities for me to progress my career in mental health. The knowledge and support of my colleagues is really invaluable. Everyone is friendly and supportive and working arrangement are flexible. It’s a busy environment, so things change often. But I always have opportunities for case management and supervision, so I feel motivated and supported in my work.

In the future, I’m interested in pursuing a traineeship as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. I’m also considering specialising in Personality Disorder, to help remove the stigma associated with it and provide specialist support. Given my past experience, I’m confident that working here will give continue to give me the opportunities I need to develop.

Sarah O’Loughlin is an eTherapy Coordinator at Talking Therapies Manchester, which provides online support and professional therapists to help people deal with negative thoughts and feelings and make positive changes. 

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Coronavirus update

In light of the current situation, we are making changes to the way we deliver services at the moment. One-to-one appointments that would normally be delivered face-to-face will now take place over the phone or through video call. There is no need to call us to confirm – your regular point of contact will call you at the time your appointment was scheduled.

We are also no longer holding groups inside. We’re currently arranging alternatives where possible through considering walking or virtual groups. Please contact your group facilitator, or the centre where the group runs from, for more information.

If you’re worried, think you may have symptoms of Coronavirus or want further information, see the latest advice from Public Health England.

Finally, if you’re struggling through self-isolation, please don’t feel alone. There are local community groups being created all over the country, which you can find here. Alternatively, you can call our community centres in your local area, which you can find here.