Mental Health Awareness: Walker Smith & BHSF’s plan provide 24/7 support

1st August 2018

The decision to become a contractor or go self-employed can be a stressful time and affect your mental health. You may have a business mentor but ultimately all decisions are up to you. It can be a scary time and it is difficult to predict the full extent of the pressures and challenges ahead. 


When we recently surveyed a group of our clients about why they had chosen to set up their own businesses or become contractors, the answer was universally ‘Freedom and Flexibility’.

There have never before been so many self-employed workers in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics. There are now almost 4.8 million people working for themselves across the country, in all professional fields ranging from cycle couriers to architects

Being your own boss may feel like the utopia; you can manage your own hours, take time out for exercise, meet friends for coffee – all hugely positive for mental health and wellbeing. But it doesn’t always work that way.

A recent chat we had with one of our Walker Smith clients showed us there is a dark side that no one tells you about. The days spent entirely alone, the isolation of being your own boss, or how hard it can be to hustle so hard without recognition. How opening yourself up to the online world can also open the floodgates for criticism, how easy it is to compare your level of success to someone else’s, and how quickly you can get sucked into a whirlpool of negative thoughts.

Isolation, financial pressures, irregular hours and an inability to switch off can have a real impact when not managed properly. For self-employed people, it’s a real problem. It can lead to the common mental health disorders – stress, depression and anxiety.

Why does our mental health matter?


Because you, your business, your success, your profits, and your enthusiasm are only ever as strong as your own state of mind. You cannot lead and succeed from a place of disharmony.

Business coaching experts suggest that 80% of your business success is due to your own psychology and state of mind – your perceptions, thoughts, fears, emotional balance, mental clarity, stress and unresolved traumas.

The other 20% is due to your strategy, systems and skill-set.

Prolonged stress brings an array of physical consequences too, even making you feel like an alien in your own body!

Depression and anxiety immobilise you and can make you feel like you are a revving the engine, but the handbrake is still on.

That’s one of the reasons we partnered with BHSF, to provide you with the right support on your journey.

We assist you with 24/7 advice and reassurance when registering with us


We are aware that self-employment and contracting can affect workers’ mental well-being. That’s why we partnered with BHSF to provide our clients with 24/7, 365 days a year access to confidential support when they need it the most.

The helpline provides counselling and caring practical help in areas related to stress, debt, crisis and addiction.

Contractor self-employed workers often find it difficult to find or contact a GP when away on appointment. Sometimes, their place of work could be abroad with limited or no access to surgery. The BHSF service provides advice and reassurance to our clients. You can access a GP telephone helpline. The doctor can offer remote advice, diagnosis, reassurance and a course of action as necessary.

Our contractors tell us this can be a lifesaver when away from home for long stretches.

Living in a constantly stressful environment could impact your time management skill, financial stability and your ability to work at all. Through our BHSF plan, you can receive confidential and complimentary support 24/7, 365 days a year. It includes:

  • Telephone counselling support
  • Personal legal advice and financial information
  • Health advice across a range of medical and wellbeing issues
  • Access to an online portal for further help and support
  • Speak in confidence to a third party with anonymity assured

Learn more about all the complimentary benefits we provide by visiting or website or by directly contacting us:

Manchester: 0161 359 3235

London: 0203 805 5135



Mental Health Awareness infographic

Infographic: Walker Smith and BHSF provide clients with a wide variation of services