By Tessa Ogle, Managing Director of the Electrical Industries Charity

Life can throw out challenges when we least expect them and can place significant pressure on individuals and their families lives – potentially leading to a deterioration in mental health. However, as an industry, we have the power to prevent mental health problems from spiralling out of control.

In the electrical sector, mental health is one of the most worrying illnesses that affect thousands of our industry colleagues’ lives. To tackle the issues of mental health and to help those who are faced with an uncertain future to turn their lives around before the situation reaches crisis point, the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) launched the Employee and Family Support Programme (EFP) which is solely funded by powerLottery.

EFP is part of the Charity’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which provides help and support for employees and their families in the most turbulent moments of their lives. Through the Employee and Family Support Programme, you can give people like Matthew Rimmer the gift of independence. In 2015, Matthew’s life took an unexpected turn when he suffered from a brain haemorrhage at the age of 48. This left him paralysed from the neck down and, as a result, he is no longer able to walk, talk or lead the active life that he was used to. Since that distressing moment, Matthew’s life completely changed and the subsequent brain surgery which left half of his skull missing has resulted in him suffering from a morbid personality disorder.

Matthew changed from an outgoing, happy person to one who no longer even wanted to get up or attend his therapy, which would help with his recovery. To add to his challenges, Matthew has also been diagnosed with heart problems and is now waiting for open-heart surgery. Matthew’s family become extremely concerned about his wellbeing and therefore decided to get in touch with EIC for support in purchasing an all-terrain wheelchair. This would allow Matthew to move freely not only indoors but outdoors too and would give Matthew a degree of independence, normality and motivation which is crucial for his wellbeing.

Thanks to invaluable support from industry members who donate £1 to powerLottery every month, EIC was able to fund an all-terrain wheelchair for Matthew and through its Employee and Family Support Programme was able to provide ongoing support to help with his recovery and care. Mathew is now able to walk the dogs and enjoy a more social and independent life with his loved ones.

When individuals are faced with an uncertain future there is a tendency for mental health to suffer - this can be alleviated through regaining the ability to do some of the things you could before and in this case, Matthew’s independence. Therefore, a little help from the industry can make a huge difference in someone like Matthew Rimmer’s life. Why not show your support by becoming a partner of the Employee and Family Support Programme today or by signing up to powerLottery and help your industry colleagues in their time of need.

If you would like to become a partner of the Employee and Family Support Programme today or take part in powerLottery, please contact Jess Vailima:

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