I’m passionate about talking to each other about problems – Nick Elston’s story
10 October 2018
On World Mental Health Day, Tesco Customer Delivery Driver Nick Elston, shares his own experiences to support others struggling with their mental health.
Throughout my childhood I had severe OCD. The treatment at that time wasn't very effective and as I grew up, it left me with recurring anxiety. I would build simple things up in my head until they completely overwhelmed me. I wore a series of masks that suited the situation I was in, but people rarely ever saw the ‘real’ me.
I was working in a corporate world and one day I left a meeting and my anxieties completely boiled over. I had a nervous breakdown. I’d reached rock-bottom and I knew I had a choice: let my anxieties consume me or let them out.
Perhaps strangely, I decided to start speaking publicly about my issues. The place I felt safest was in the business world, so I began by doing 20-minute talks to colleagues. It was a great form of therapy for me and then I realised it was helping people in my audience too.
Seeing the power of speech
I’m so passionate about the power of talking to each other about our problems that I decided to leave my job and pursue it further. At about the same time, I saw an advert for a Customer Delivery Driver at my local Tesco store. The hours and the location were perfect. It meant I could drive in the evenings and weekends and pursue my speaking career on the other days.
I started work with Tesco in October last year and I love every minute of it. My colleagues all know what I do and my back story. People come and ask me for support and offer it too. It's a fantastic, supportive environment and I never feel judged.
Tesco mental health support for colleagues includes an Employee Assistance Programme and a host of health and wellbeing resources. We are currently midway through our sixth colleague health month event.