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Mum and Daughter flickr

For the past 10 years Jill*, aged 29, has struggled with mental health issues, including anxiety and a low mood, but conceded she "swept things under the rug" instead of seeking help.

Increased stress and conflict at the office, where she has a role in her family's NZ business, led to a decline in her mental condition.  Jill started suffering from panic attacks and heightened anxiety and became short-tempered with her 10 year old daughter.

With her mother's encouragement, Jill reached out to Best Doctors' Mental Health Navigator (MHN) programme, which she had access to through the company's insurance plan with Accuro. 

After being virtually assessed by an MHN clinical psychiatrist and psychologist in New Zealand, Jill was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder with associated anxiety.  The MHN specialists recommended treatment with an antidepressant as well as schema therapy and cognitive behavioural focused therapy with a psychologist.  MHN also recommended a local psychologist and provided information about a local primary healthcare organisation that could subsidise Jill's therapy sessions.

Jill followed up with her primary care provider and started treatment with the recommended antidepressant.  She has responded so well to the medication that she felt as through therapy may not be required, however, Jill's MHN nurse encouraged her to still proceed with the therapy.

Initially skeptical about using MHN, Jill acknowledged she has been happier since following through on MHN's recommendations.  She added her relationships with her colleagues have improved. She has even started exercising four times per week.

"I feel like a new person" Jill said.

Jill's scores from a clinical assessment tool attest to her improved condition.  When she first contacted Best Doctors, Jill ranged a nine for depression, six for anxiety and fifteen for stress, according to this measurement tool.  Three months after the conclusion of her assessment with Mental Health Navigator, Jill scored a zero for her depression, one for anxiety and four for stress.

I feel normal again - I am less stressed and irritable with my colleagues, and I am working at 100% capacity. Mental Health Navigator is absolutely amazing and has changed my life for the better.

* Member's name has been changed upon request