Buckinghamshire Mind is launching a vital new peer support service for people with mental health problems in Bucks. The mental health charity is expanding Friends in Need, which has had extremely positive results in East Berkshire. The new service is being funded by a grant provided by national Mind.
Friends in Need is a friendly peer support group that helps members to manage their depression and anxiety by trying uplifting, fun and free-of-charge activities. The groups provide a supportive and inclusive environment for members to come together with others who have had similar experiences.
“If I hadn’t found Friends in Need, I would still be at home, shopping online, sitting and not washing my hair or showering for weeks. In May, I was suicidal but now I am starting a new job. Coming to FiN has given me back my self-confidence, got rid of my feelings of worthlessness and given my self-esteem a boost! Being open about my depression within the group has helped me to be open in my interview so my new employer knows about my mental health problems, which is a relief.”
Friends in Need Member Activities include:
- Local walks, picnics and barbecues
- Arts and crafts
- Yoga, tai chi and Zumba with Sport in Mind
- Social evenings such as pub quizzes, games nights and meals out together
- Mindfulness for deep relaxation
- Guest speakers
- Monthly day trips to local attractions such as museums, historic buildings and temples
- Photography walks
- Mind the Note (singing group)
- Learning how to use technology for our wellbeing with Discovery 3
“FIN has given me a sense of purpose and of being part of a community where my presence and contribution are valued. This, in turn, has helped alleviate my chronic feelings of low self-worth and low self-esteem, which are the main triggers for depression for me in the past.”
Peer Volunteer for Friends in Need
Buckinghamshire Mind identified the need for peer support groups in the county following the completion of a research project it carried out last year in partnership with Healthwatch Bucks.
“We are really delighted to be able to expand our Friends in Need service into Buckinghamshire so that we can help people with mental health problems in the county to continue on their recovery journey. We’re very grateful to national Mind for awarding this grant.”
Debbie Workman, Friends in Need Team Lead, Buckinghamshire Mind