Financial adviser Paul Howarth on using his own experience of depression to provide hope for others
When pressure in life gets too hard to handle, where do you turn?
After playing football to a professional level, Paul Howarth took a junior advisory role as a financial adviser. For five years, he progressed well but around the age of 30 many contributory factors occurred and Mr Howarth was signed off work due to depression.
His salary was structured so that pay was at the discretion of the directors, who decided his leave would be unpaid. Like many in this situation, he had no choice but to ignore the advice of health professionals and return to work.
Coming from a football career, succeeding in a high-pressure job role and being male made dealing with his problems that much harder. Feelings were supressed and in the evenings comfort was found in alcohol.
"I couldn't ask for help -- it was northern male pride combined with not knowing where to turn -- and after a time, I honestly felt like the world would be a better place without me in it."
His story is not uncommon.
TURNING THE CORNER
Mr Howarth was fortunate. The Professional Football Association placed him in Tony Adams' Sporting Chance clinic, where a month of reflection and understanding was prescribed. He found the days long and tough, but day by day inner strength returned and with support he fully recovered.
Today, his life is transformed. He describes how life is now full of unthinkable joy and happiness, free from inner torment.
He has set up PH7 Wealth Management, a thriving practice in Lancashire that not only manages funds and provides financial advice but also helps clients achieve their retirement dreams, so that the money is put to full use with good planning.
This success was not enough however. Mr Howarth decided to do further study and is now currently completing his advanced training to be clinically approved to practice transactional analysis psychotherapy. In a short time, he will proudly have a postgraduate degree.
With this under his belt, he has opened the PH7 Wellbeing Centre. With departments for psychotherapy and counselling alongside meditation, yoga and holistic treatments, the centre aims to provide a new approach to treating the very real problem of depression. Mr Howarth's psychotherapy work also integrates well with clients around the age of 55-plus who fear working less hours or who worry they will be without work as a focus.
The PH7 Wellbeing Centre is already starting to thrive since the January opening. It is a private, safe place for anyone who needs to reach out for help, especially those with a professional background who require the privacy to get well.
There are big plans for the PH7 Life Charity and now PH7 Ignite -- a programme for health in the workplace and corporate environment. The story is proof that however difficult things may seem, with the right help things can get better, and Mr Howarth can be an inspiration to anyone who feels there is no hope.
For more information, visit: ph7wellbeing.co.uk