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Spill Partnership – Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 Blog

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This week is Mental Health Awareness week and FuturLab are proud to announce a new partnership with Spill – an online therapy service, available 24/7, which will be offered to all employees for free.

Hi! I’m Hayley, Studio Welfare Manager, Mother, Dancer, lover of cheese, wine and a good book and I want to tell you more about our exciting new partnership!

Rewind to 2020, the start of those ’unprecedented times’ and when FuturLab was a team of 18. Like so many businesses, we were plunged into a world of remote working under entirely different social and economic circumstances and had to think fast. Although overwhelming at times, I was incredibly grateful to have trained as Mental Health First Aider only 6 months prior. Now was my time to step up and fulfil the role and I dived in headfirst, with daily wellbeing activities, regular social calls and check ins, online meet ups and even those infamous zoom quizzes we all went mad for!

Fast forward to 2022, having just hired our 53rd employee and choosing to remain a remote first studio, suddenly my one-woman band doesn’t cut it anymore! The balance has tipped and there’s not enough of me and my support to go around. Ever the pragmatist, I decided to look for solutions and through various webinars and networking, I was recommended an Employee Assistance Programme called Spill.

Spill is a remote therapy service that integrates with slack and, as a company that relies heavily on this platform, it seemed like a great fit. Initially I worried that employees may not like the idea, or trust that slack would be confidential enough, but my fears were put to bed after an introductory call with Ally and a great demo from Pete, both Spill employees. What I like most about the service is that there are several options to access therapy of any kind in a format that works for you as an individual. Spill aim to remove the stigma around therapy and erase the idea that you need to be in a diagnosable condition, such as depression or general anxiety disorder before you reach out.

Before launching, two of our team tried a therapy session and here’s what they had to say:

Chris Mehers, Chief Operations Officer

“As someone who thinks they probably would never feel the need strongly enough, or indeed be brave enough to take the step of seeking counselling, I’ve found Spill a revelation. Like the other 8 billion humans on this planet, I get days where I think I’m bossing it. But I also get days where I’m convinced, I’m really not all that, as a father / husband / employee/ leader / friend/ human. These moments are triggered by all sorts of silly little things and occasionally I go off kilter.

Being able to book a quick and easy counselling session, with a couple of clicks makes it so easy that not doing so will, I hope, seem dumb for me in future. My first ever counselling session, was a truly positive experience that led to, what feels like, a step forward in how I manage the stories I tell myself about what is going on around me. I’ll be using Spill as a monthly maintenance tool from now on, even if I feel I don’t need it as a check in and review can only be a good thing, and if I do need more then it’s only a couple of clicks away.”

Rebecca Sweetmore, Head of Marketing

“A couple of years ago, I was signed off work for three weeks for stress, anxiety, and grief. The NHS offered all the help they could, but ultimately, I was put on a year long waiting list for one-on-one therapy. Taking that time off from work helped me immensely, and in the end, I got taken off the waiting list. Since then, I’ve certainly had ups and downs and often thought about getting private therapy, but the cost and selection process has always made me hesitate.

Recently, I had very similar feelings to when I was signed off. I was mentally in quite a low place, but the difference this time was that there hadn’t been an event that had triggered these emotions which, for me, made it super difficult to comprehend. Not being able to explain to my partner or myself why I felt like this made it so much worse. When I got offered the one-off Spill therapy session, I jumped at the chance. I was reasonably skeptical and a little nervous before I went in, but the therapist I had made me feel very comfortable. The discussion we had led me to draw my own conclusions about how I was feeling and with their professional guidance, it completely turned my week around. I cannot recommend the sessions enough; I’m not saying it’s a magical cure for all, but I wouldn’t hesitate to book again with the difference that one session made.”

So far we’ve had a great response and we all welcome the extra support as we grow!