Normal, or whatever passes for it, is returning. A couple of weeks ago I went to an ‘in-person’ event: real rather than virtual. A networking event for mental health service across the Walsall area.
I must admit that it felt a little strange to be back in a room full of people, but once I ‘jumped in’ it was great to be able to talk to people about their organization and individual projects that were represented. And, there were plenty of them providing a different range of approaches to the mental health problem we are facing – the NHS, Rethink, Mettaminds, WHG amongst others.
In normal times we have so many people who will experience mental ill-health, and our recent pandemic has exacerbated the scale greatly as anxiety, isolation and grief have had their toll.
One project that struck me as being interesting was ‘Think Again’ support group that runs out of a community café, Expressions (https://www.onelovecommunity.org), in Bloxwich High Street. I got to talking to Rachel and her angels about their approach of peer support and was impressed with their passion to help. Peer support is quite simply having the support of people who have had the same experiences of mental ill-health – being able to talk to them about their trials, tribulations and, importantly, successes in living life. Knowing that someone has gone through a similar battle gives hope, and that hope is vital to recovery or learning to live with mental ill-health.
If you live near the Walsall area and would like to know more then email ThinkAgainGroup@rethink.org or telephone 07376 249765 and tell them Colin sent you.