Next week, Monday 19th October, we will be having our Social Get Together! We will be gathering at The Bank House, Weatherspoons in Cheltenham from 7pm. Please come along and join us! If you can't see us on the ground floor, we will be upstairs, we welcome your company.
Then on Monday 26th Oct, at Cheltenham Borough Homes Meeting Room, we will be doing another Mindfulness Session from 6:30pm. I think those who took part last time quite enjoyed this experience! I have a 10 minute Breathing Meditation to try out, so come along and have a go, if your interested! Following this we have the Independence Trust joining us from 7pm to talk about what the Trust is all about. Should be very interesting, not sure if they will be with us for the whole 2 hours though, so we may get chance to catch up with each other afterwards.
Don't forget we still have our Thursday Morning Monthly meeting happening on 29th Oct at Hesters Way Baptist Church from 10am to 11:30. This is really informal and very few attendees at the moment. It's open to all who desire some company due to loneliness and isolation, as well as depression and anxiety conditions.
Quick update regarding the Grant Steve has been working hard to obtain. Looks like the application is going through well, so watch this space for news. Big Thank You to Steve for all his support in getting this off the ground, for the benefit of the Group!
Thank you also to Ian for leading the Group Meeting on Monday 5th October. Ian will be carrying on with these optional meetings so watch out for dates.
Finally I wanted to share an experience I had a couple of weeks ago, when I was at the Hereford Festival of Sport, helping with the Time to Change Team in the Well Being Village. I was there to engage the public in a conversation about Mental Health. Well, the day began with some really good chats about Mental Health with my fellow members of the Time to Change Team, who were really up to talking about their own experiences, a bit like our Group Meetings. However the aim of the event was to engage the public in these types of conversations and challenge the discrimination that exists around Mental Health.
I had no problem approaching people, however trying to engage in a conversation regarding any type of mental health condition was more of a challenge. As soon as I mentioned mental health the barriers went up. I was quite shocked, as I am used to talking freely on the subject at our own group meetings and listening to our group folks, who are often very open and honest about their own experiences. Gosh, I know how helpful it is to talk about such matters. However this was not the case when out in the general public arena. As a conversation starter I had been given a roll of Time to Change stickers. The idea being to engage in a Mental Health conversation, then give the member of the public a sticker to mark the fact that they had been spoken to. Well that didn't happen. Oh folks were happy to touch upon some of the activities happening in the Well Being Village, but that was as far as most conversations went. Along with I'm not staying long, I don't speak any English.
Although some folks were quite happy to talk about Mental Health in general but none of the guys I talked to came anywhere near a conversation about their own experiences. Where is the 1 in 4? I asked myself. What amused me was when I offered them a sticker they were reluctant to take one at first, but when I enlightened them of the fact that if they wore a sticker no one will approach them to talk about Mental Health again. Well, they were up for that and quite eager to take one, two in some cases, stickers. So I think there is still some work to be done with the General Public, to challenge the Stigma and Discrimination that still exits around Mental Health, unfortunately.
Hope the week is good to you all.