As I said before I started my journey of discovery at the primary mental health team’s ‘Stress Control’ course. If you think you are struggling with stress, depression or anxiety first of all go to your GP and then ask them for their number. You can self-refer and just turn up, even bring a friend.
I brought Tim on my first session as otherwise I would not have got through that door. My anxiety wouldn’t have got me into the car, let alone out of it again and into a strange building. Tim has been my absolute rock when it comes to things he knows I’ll be nervous doing. He just knows before I even have to say, he’s there behind me, not pushing just supporting.
My first hurdle though was what to do with the phone number. I am lucky to have amazing friends one of which phoned for me. The mental health team are used to this and gave her all the information. There are 4 sessions with lots of hand outs and practical ideas.
One of the first things that struck me was that everyone in the room was completely different, there was no ‘type’ of person. There were young, old, men, women, rich, poor, everyone and no one cared! You are all there for the same reason, to help yourself!
You don’t have to speak to anyone if you don’t want to…I didn’t! The team are there to answer all your questions, if you want to ask them, or not! It is mostly based on a PowerPoint presentation. The team tell stories and are full of anecdotes and useful information, I learned loads. This is obviously based in the Hywel Dda health board but I am sure there are similar things available all over the place. Just ask! You won’t get anywhere if you don’t ask for help. This I suppose is the first step… admitting you need help and then asking for it. Easier said than done! I know.
One of the first things that struck me was that everyone in the room was completely different, there was no ‘type’ of person.
Once I had been into one of the sessions I could then take myself and even signed up for the next course based around mindfulness. It gave me a better understanding of mindfulness practice, meditation etc. which I have found vital on my journey.
One of the best things I have discovered is Headspace. A friend recommended it to me and it too is brilliant. I used it initially every day to make sure I was having 10 minutes a day of calm and meditation, now I use it when I feel I need it. I could do with it today as I feel no nervous having posted these blogs to you all. The fear of being judged and ridiculed or ignored!
From Lala, with Love xx
If you would like to write a blog post about your experiences of stigma or related issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org