When life gives you lemons, it’s human nature to feel worried, anxious or upset when dealing with the unexpected – that’s our ingrained fight or fly mechanism.
But when your feelings start to seriously affect your daily life or you feel like you haven’t got the strength to overcome any difficulties or challenges, that’s where organisations such as Rotherham and Barnsley MIND can help.
Empowering people to recognise their condition, Rotherham and Barnsley MIND are a local charity that continues to support people in the community experiencing mental health problems while raising awareness of how and why mental health can affect any one of us.
What is mental health?
Everyone has mental health; similar to general health, it’s either well or not. Mental illness has no stereotypes or labels. It doesn’t fit into one box, one category of people, or one sign or symptom.
As such a broad topic, one in four people in the UK will experience it in one form or another every year, be it problems such as psychosis and schizophrenia, insomnia, emotional eating or a miserable feeling that just doesn’t go away.
While experiencing a mental health problem is no longer the taboo subject it was ten years ago, with people becoming more open about any struggles they face, there are others who are still reluctant to address it or find it difficult to understand.
Fighting stress together
This May is Mental Health Awareness Week, a national campaign which this year will highlight stress and how to improve coping mechanisms before it engulfs you completely.
Stress can affect anyone and everyone; from students and sporting stars to soldiers and stay-at-home parents, even high-profile celebrities and people in senior positions. Every single person reading this has probably stressed about something in their life.
But when stress leads to irrational behaviour, it can set off a domino effect of other mental health problems such as panic attacks, anxieties, phobias or obsessive compulsive disorders.
With the help of Rotherham and Barnsley MIND, their wide range of individual and group sessions can help you overcome stress and any other mental health problems you may be struggling to deal with.
They also promote the benefits of having good mental health to improve emotional, social and psychological well-being which in turn play a huge part in daily life.
What goes on at Rotherham and Barnsley MIND?
Along with counselling and therapeutic anger management sessions to talk through the root of any problems, Rotherham and Barnsley MIND also have classes such as art psychotherapy and creative minds where people who struggle to speak about their feelings can express and release them through arts and crafts.
With the chance to meet people going through similar situations, MIND also host group support sessions such as carers support, bereavement, LGBT, asylum seekers or ladies and men’s groups.
Not just for individuals, they also work with local businesses to provide dedicated mental health training to employers and their staff. In the UK, one in six employees are suffering from anxiety, depression or stress. By offering various workshops and one-to-one sessions, MIND can improve awareness and mindfulness in the workplace and help keep the workforce well through dedicated support lines and specialist services.
Former Mayor now involved
In order to maintain positive mental health which is crucial to living a long, healthy and fulfilled life, MIND knows that the sooner people address and deal with their problems the better.
Their new fundraising and development office, Cllr Lyndsay Pitchley, understands first-hand the battles that people with mental health problems can face.
As the former Mayor of Rotherham, Lyndsay spent a full year as the town’s patron with her face firmly in the limelight while raising over £85,000 for various local charities.
However, underneath the red cloak and ceremonial chains, Lyndsay has learnt to overcome her own mental health issues to become the strong and dignified person she is today.
After the birth of her first child, Lyndsay was diagnosed with post-natal depression, a condition which affects around 15 percent of all new mothers.
“I was sectioned and kept in hospital; people said I was a neurotic mother. But in reality looking back, my baby was born prematurely, had jaundice, and my emotions were running high due to a previous miscarriage and the hormones pacing through my body.
“It just wasn’t what I expected as a first time mum,” Lyndsay says.
Becoming a mum can be a daunting experience full of self-doubt. To help pregnant women and new mums adapt to the lifestyle change, Barnsley MIND offer a weekly group called Mums in MIND whereby ladies can talk in confidence and advise each other alongside a midwife from Barnsley Hospital.
In what can feel like an isolating time, this support helps relieve any feelings of not living up to expectations of being the perfect parent, with expectations and social pressures being some of the main reasons behind most common mental health problems
For others, their mental health problems may stem from life experiences such neglect or abusive relationships, bereavement, or even their current situation, perhaps unemployment.
Whatever the cause, Rotherham and Barnsley MIND are here to help people find a way through it.
For Lyndsay, she has found exercise helps her deal with any issues in her life and keeps her mind and body active by running and swimming.
How can you help?
On Saturday 26th May, daredevil Lyndsay will be tackling her fears head on and taking to the skies and she completes a wing walk to raise money for MIND.
But helping fund these vital group sessions doesn’t have to be as adventurous; Lyndsay is also looking for local groups and businesses to get involved by hosting coffee mornings.
Rotherham and Barnsley MIND will also be holding a black tie ball On Saturday 29th September at Wortley Hall, with tickets £45 per person which includes a three-course meal and live entertainment.
To donate to Lynsday’s plight or find out more about the work Rotherham and Barnsley MIND do, visit www.rbmind.co.uk