East Riding of Yorkshire Council is making residents aware that there are a number of services and sessions available in the East Riding to help and support people of all ages with mental health issues, following World Mental Health Day, which took place this week.
World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness of the silent disease, which can affect anyone at any time in their lives.
Jen, an administration assistant in the East Riding, said: “My illness all began to start Christmas 2013, I was forever feeling down and tired and just put it down to the ‘winter blues’. I was having more bad than good days with thoughts of not wanting to be here.
“I just felt useless, like I didn’t have a purpose, things started to build up and I never had anyone to turn to. I didn’t want to worry my parents and my partner was unsupportive and often told me I was miserable and should snap out of it.
“Things finally came to a head in Spring 2014 when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, a build up of having no support at home, having to run the house myself, tending to a sick pet which I eventually lost, moving house and dealing with work demands.
“I couldn’t go out for fear of having a panic attack, and when I did go out I had to have two people accompany me, one to walk at each side of me.
“I started to take medication and see a therapist, who taught me how to overcome my panic attacks and believe in myself again. Once the medication had started to kick in, I felt I could visit safe places again and I started exercising more to help take things off my mind. I also got a new cat, which helped so very much.
“A lot of people tend to see mental health as some kind of stigma and tie everyone with it. For people to say “just snap out of it”, is the worst thing you can do to a person suffering from depression and anxiety.
“It feels like it’s a sunny day and there’s a rain cloud over you that just won’t go away. I just lost control over my life and needed guidance. Two years later I no longer take the medication as I feel I can live without it and I’ve accessed online therapy for additional help.
“I felt embarrassed for a long time, as something like this has never happened in my family. It’s not something that goes away overnight.
“If I could pass a message to people who know someone suffering from mental health problems, I’d say please be patient with them and try to understand what they are going through. As for people who think they may need help, I would say think of your own needs first, a lot of people suffer in silence, please don’t, the help is there.”
Some of the services and sessions that are taking place in the East Riding of Yorkshire include:
Reach Out Project:
The Reach Out Project supports residents of the East Riding aged 16+ who are experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems and the affect these may have on people’s lives.
Reach Out can offer one-to-one support and advice, and mental health and wellbeing courses and workshops at various venues across the East Riding of Yorkshire, including weekly workshops in Hessle, Bridlington, Driffield, Pocklington, Withernsea, Goole and Beverley.
For more information about these sessions and workshops or to book a place, please call (01482) 240133.
Smoking cessation sessions:
East Riding of Yorkshire Council offers support with smoking cessation, which can help relieve stress, anxiety and depression and helps to give people a more positive outlook on life. These benefits apply to all smokers, not just those with pre-existing mental health problems. For more information please visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree
Stoptober is currently taking place nationally and offers smokers the chance to benefit from free services and sessions across the country.
Reading Well Scheme:
At a time when 1 in 10 young people have a diagnosable mental health issue, Beverley Library has launched a scheme to support them with expert endorsed books available to borrow.
Reading Well for young people is a national scheme, part of the hugely successful Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme, which will provide 13-18 year-olds with high-quality information, support and advice on a wide-range of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm, and difficult life pressures, like bullying and exams.
With the proportion of 15-16 year olds reporting that they frequently feel anxious or depressed having doubled in the last 30 years, there is an enormous need for quality assured mental health information and advice for young people. Co-created with a panel of young people who have had experience of mental health issues, the new Reading Well scheme helps young people to understand and manage their wellbeing and emotional resilience. The books can be recommended by GPs, school nurses, counsellors and other health professionals as well as being free to borrow from the library.
The Fitmums and Friends club is a unique running club which offers support to mums, dads and the community. Focusing on supporting runners of all abilities, the club will offer a range of distance runs from one to six miles and can help runners to achieve their goals, meet new people, socialise and have fun.
Laurie Fergusson, public health lead, said: “Fitmums and Friends offer not only the opportunity to get physically active but to also meet and socialise with new friends. The supportive atmosphere within the groups helps everyone to get the best out of the activities no matter what level of runner you are. Fitmums and Friends is open to men and women aged 16+.” For more information visit www.fitmums.org.uk or search for the group on Facebook.
Men in Sheds – Withernsea:
A new project is currently under development at Withernsea, which will offer a place for men mainly aged over 44 to visit to share the tools and resources they need to work on projects of their own, such as carpentry, joinery, welding, gardening, restoration, bike repairs, boat renovation etc.
The ‘Men in Sheds Withernsea’ project is a larger version of the typical man’s shed in the garden, and is a place where men can feel at home in a safe and friendly environment, whilst meeting new people, working on projects in their own time and at their own pace, whilst avoiding potential loneliness, social isolation, physical illness, disability and mental health issues. These activities could include painting and decorating, gardening, maintenance, car repairing, etc.
Andy Kingdom, deputy director of public health at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “This scheme is a good example of how our residents are being supported to get involved in fun activities that improve the quality of their own health and wellbeing whilst reducing their future chances of poor health.” For more information email email@example.com or call (01652) 637700.
October Challenge 5:
Hull and East Yorkshire Mind is encouraging people to take the October Challenge 5 – five ways to mental wellbeing – to coincide with World Mental Health Day this week.
Members of the public are being encouraged to sign up and complete something from each of the five ways to wellbeing during October, either via the website or social media. The five sections are as follows:
Connect – Connect with people around you, such as work mates, friends, neighbours and family.
Be active – Try a walk or run, swimming, gardening or anything you enjoy.
Take notice – Be curious and notice the world around you; savour the moment.
Keep learning – Try something new and give yourself a challenge.
Give – Do something nice for a friend or stranger, smile and say thank you.
For more information or to sign up to the October Challenge 5, visit www.heymind.org.uk or follow @MindHEY on Facebook or Twitter, @Hey.mind on Instagram or #heychallenge
For more information about any of the services mentioned above, please visit the council’s website www.eastriding.gov.uk and type in the topic in the search bar.