Rocco’s story: “I’m not hiding anymore”

When his anxiety became overwhelming, we were there to help

Rocco has struggled with his mental health for most of his life. He experienced a lot of trauma in his childhood, which he says turned him into a very anxious person. He didn’t have a routine growing up, and very little support network.

He started working as a tree surgeon during the pandemic, but his anxiety was getting in the way of him fulfilling his potential.

“I was having a breakdown,” he says. “I couldn’t deal with anything. The slightest thing would set me off, and I’d just want to hibernate – sleep and hide away from it all.”

Rocco was referred to our Live Well Kent & Medway service by his GP. We put him in touch with support worker Vicky.

Live Well Kent & Medway is a network of local organisations and services, including Porchlight, working together to help people manage their mental health and wellbeing. This could be through support with feelings like anxiety, depression, or loneliness, or with practical things like work, finance, and housing.

“I was always anxious,” Rocco says. “But Vicky made the experience so personal. She was dedicated to finding the right support for me.”

Vicky made the experience so personal. She was dedicated to finding the right support for me.

Vicky arranged for Rocco to attend counselling sessions to address some of his trauma. He found it helpful having someone to talk to, but the biggest difference his counsellor made was recommending that he stick to a routine. Now he gets up at the same time every day and starts his morning the same way, which he says gives him a sense of purpose.

Rocco is grateful to Vicky for setting him on the right path. “She was so personable. When I didn’t have anyone to talk to, I knew I could talk to her.”

Now he’s working hard on growing his business. “I’m not hiding away anymore,” he says.

“Now I’ve picked myself right up. I’m going in the right direction.”