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WSP colleagues mark Mental Health Awareness Month

WSP colleagues mark Mental Health Awareness Month

 May 17, 2023

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week that focuses on increasing awareness and understanding about anxiety, WSP Wellbeing Manager Danielle Cairney, Proposals Manager Elissa Fletcher, and Facilities Management Consultant Ligita Raizyte openly discussed their experience of anxiety and what they have done to overcome it. 

Focusing on learning and not perfection 

Danielle [pictured above] enjoys working with people, and supporting people ignites her passion. "From coaching clients through chronic pain and improving their wellbeing; volunteering at Mind In Mid Herts, to teaching sports massage with T3 Education helping as many people as I can - has been my primary goal. This started off with working 1-1 but to reach more people I branched out into education and wellbeing programmes," she explains. 

"My experience of anxiety shows up in response to my self-talk about failure and being an imposter, such as when I became a parent or started a new role. Gaining support, being in nature, and focusing on learning and not perfection are all things I focus on regularly that help manage anxiety and reduce the impact it has on how I feel day to day." 

Being yourself makes the monsters less scary 

Elissa is an experienced Proposal Manager who has worked in the engineering industry.

Skilled in proposal writing and coordination, particularly for renewable energy developments around the world, Elissa has a degree in Biology and a strong background in Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Engineering, particularly in the quarrying industry. A proudly qualified Mental Health First Aider, Elissa has a passion for helping others and breaking down taboos around mental health. "I volunteer as a Wellbeing Champion at WSP, promoting good mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health," she shares. 

"Anxiety is more than just nervousness. It changes who you are as a person. Suddenly there are monsters around every corner, and you are in a constant state of hypervigilance, ready to fight or flee. Of all the tools I've learned to deal with the sense of overwhelm, the easiest is noise-canceling headphones. That simple reduction in sounds around me makes me instantly calm and allows me to be myself again - and when I'm myself, the monsters don't seem half as scary," she says. 

Surrounded by supportive people 

Very ambitious, and driven by excitement and a passion to succeed, Ligita welcome challenges.

"Before site visits and audits, I get travel anxiety, from missing trains/being late to meetings. As a result of my fear, I set multiple alarms every 15 minutes and check 3 to 4 times before leaving the house for essentials," explains Ligita. 

"I find that sharing my progress with my colleagues when I'm on the road, and letting them know how I'm doing, also helps with this. Recently, my train was cancelled with three minutes to spare. My colleague quickly found alternative routes to get me to my destination, relieving my stress and panic. Knowing that I'm surrounded by supportive people at work who have my back is an invaluable help."

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