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Introducing our in house therapist Jessica Adams

Welcome, Jess! To start, could you share a bit about your journey and tell us what drives your passion for working with people to overcome mental health challenges?

Hello! My journey to this point is quite unconventional. I had just qualified for my undergraduate law degree and I had a full body 'NO!' when I faced the next steps towards my life long dream to become a lawyer. So, I pivoted into doing an MA in social work. I went into law because my mum wanted me to but also because I had this overwhelming desire to do good, and I know how that sounds, but it's the truth. Law wasn't going to satisfy that need in my life, so I went  down the social work route which led me first to working in mental health with vulnerable children, then university students, and now my own practice. 

Considering your expertise, how do you see the role of cognitive behavioural therapy in addressing workplace-related stress and anxiety?

CBT is highly effective in addressing workplace-related stress and anxiety by empowering individuals with practical skills and strategies to thrive in their professional roles while maintaining their mental well-being. It's tailored to individual needs, prevents burn-out, addresses perfectionism and imposter syndrome, builds coping skills, helps with managing workload and time management, and identifies and works through negative thought patterns.

The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 is 'Moving More for Our Mental Health'. How do you think we can incorporate more movement into our working days (which often already feel so busy) and what are the benefits of us doing so?

This is such a big question, but hopefully I can still do it justice by keeping it short! In truth, incorporating more movement into our working days is not only possible but also incredibly beneficial for our mental health, productivity, and overall well-being. Some suggestions could be taking regular breaks, active commuting, desk exercises, walking meetings, lunchtime activities, stair climbing (essential at Beach, but beautiful views at Lanes!), and activity challenges with colleagues/co-workers. There are so many benefits for mental health, for example increased energy and productivity, enhanced team building and morale, and a better work-life balance.

What are some common signs that someone might be struggling with their mental health at work and how can co-workers provide support without overstepping boundaries?

By being observant, empathetic, and respectful of boundaries. Co-workers can play a crucial role in supporting colleagues who are struggling with their mental health by creating a more compassionate and understanding workplace culture. Signs that someone might be struggling are: changes in behaviour, physical symptoms (fatigue/headaches/sleep patterns), performance issues, emotional signs, or isolation and avoidance.

Being supportive can be difficult in the workplace because overstepping the boundaries will have different implications than if it was a friend or family member. However, there are ways you can provide support. For example, being observant and approachable, listening and validating, respecting a person's privacy and confidentiality but offering practical support such as helping with their workload or helping them seek professional support.

In your practice, you emphasise overcoming limiting beliefs. Could you explain how these beliefs can impact professional life and what steps can be taken to challenge them?

By challenging limiting beliefs and adopting a more positive and growth-oriented mindset, individuals can really come into their full potential, overcome obstacles, and thrive in their professional lives. Limiting beliefs can impact someone's professional life, and here are a few examples of that: a fear of failure, imposter syndrome, perfectionism, a fixed mindset, comparison triggers, and jealousy. Working on limiting beliefs is hard, mainly because we can largely be unaware of their existence. However, some steps to challenge limiting beliefs are to firstly identify them, then question their validity, reframe negative thoughts, and set realistic goals. You could also seek feedback, challenge comfort zones, and as ever, practice self-compassion.

You're proudly an advocate for gender equality. How do you approach the topic of building self-esteem and confidence among women in the workplace, especially in traditionally male-dominated industries?

I am, and it's exciting to see businesses moving to the right side of social justice! However, there is still work to be done. By taking a proactive approach to building self-esteem and confidence among women in the workplace, we can create an environment where all employees feel empowered to reach their full potential, regardless of gender. Together, we can break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create a more equitable and inclusive workplace for everyone. Examples would be, promoting self-awareness, providing mentorship, offering skill-building opportunities, creating supportive environments, addressing bias and stereotypes, providing flexibility and support, and listening to feedback.

Mental health can still sometimes be a taboo subject in professional settings. What are some ways organisations can foster a more open and supportive environment for discussing and addressing mental health?

I agree, and it's coming to a point where people view companies largely on their ethics, and it's becoming an active decision not to do anything to normalise mental health support in the workplace. Implementing strategies like celebrating diversity and inclusion, promoting self-care and well-being, creating supportive conversations that normalise mental health and offering mental health resources, means that in practice businesses can create a culture where mental health is prioritised, but it also builds a company's brand. It also means that the stigma is reduced, and employees feel supported in seeking help when needed. This not only benefits individual employees but also contributes to a healthier, more productive, and resilient workforce overall. 

From your perspective, what are the most effective self-care strategies that individuals can employ during the workday to maintain or improve mental health?

Businesses have the privilege and ability to promote mental well-being, reduce stress, and enhance an employees overall quality of life, as we've already discussed. However, self-care strategies that an individual can do to support themselves could include taking mental health breaks, ensuring you stay hydrated and nourished, move your body, find, build, and maintain connection with others, and adopting a two minute deep breathing practice when needed to keep those cortisol levels low.

What are some emerging tools or techniques in therapy that you think could be particularly beneficial for workplace mental health initiatives? How can individuals and organisations start to implement these?

Another great question, as we discussed, both organisations and individuals can proactively address workplace mental health issues, reduce stigma, and create a culture of support and well-being. In a world where technology is evolving faster than it ever has, there are ways we can use this to support mental health. There are several emerging tools and techniques in therapy that can be particularly beneficial for workplace mental health initiatives. The first one would have to be digital mental health platforms - like mine! (not so subtle plug). Another new tool is Virtual Reality (VR) therapy however this is still in its infancy, popular mindfulness and meditation apps, online therapy, and more well known techniques such as resilience training programmes. 

Finally, how can people find out more about you and your work, either for support for themselves or for their organisations and what can they expect if they decide to get in touch with you?

I would love for anyone to get in touch, you can find me at and fill in the assessment quiz if you are an individual looking for support.

If you are a business looking for ways to support your team, please email me at and of course, please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any more general questions.


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