Mental Health

A COUNSELLING charity usually associated with helping couples solve relationship problems has started a service for young people.

Those aged from 10 to 18 who are having difficulties in their life can turn to iRelate for confidential advice.

Young people with overwhelming problems can find help at the new iRelate service

The service has been launched by Relate West Surrey, which helps individuals and families as well as couples.

Children with issues such as low mood, anxiety, problems at home or at school or with friends which they are finding overwhelming and which are interfering with their home life or school can contact iRelate.

Discussions will be kept confidential unless there are concerns about a young person’s safety.

Relate West Surrey chief executive Jill Rawling said: “Growing up can be tough and there are lots of reasons at home or at school that can make life difficult, so it can help to have someone to talk to.

“Whether it’s about coping with exam stress, parents splitting up, bullying or low mood, Relate can provide a safe space to talk. We treat the protection and safeguarding of children with the utmost priority.”

Children aged over 16 can contact iRelate themselves and under 16s can be referred by parents or guardians.

For more information, call Relate on 01483 602998 or email Relate appointments@relatewestsurrey.org.uk.

For the full story get the 5 September edition of the News & Mail

ART has the power to make you feel good, and those benefits are available in the centre of Woking at the Lightbox.

The award-winning museum and gallery is launching a new focus on mental wellbeing, for participants in its many specialised workshops, as well as casual and regular visitors.

A session at an Art in Mind workshop

Residents of Woking and beyond are also being offered a new category of annual membership, where they can bring along a guest for the regular and special exhibitions.

The new focus, in a three to five-year plan, begins this week to coincide with the autumn/winter exhibition Scottish Colourists, which opened on Saturday (7 September).

Cordelia Wren, the Lightbox’s development manager, said the gallery and museum had long been involved in community activities with Art in Mind, a specialist workshop for people with early onset dementia starting in 2012.

Cordelia said there were other outreach programmes, such as Art and Craft for Wellbeing, which was run for Woking hospice.

Day passes will cost £7.50 with an option to add a £1 donation. Individual membership will be £30 with £40 for the “plus one guest” option. Joint membership is £50 with £60 for the “plus” option. This means that two joint members can each bring along a separate guest for £2.50 a month each.

There is a time-limited offer of a £5 discount on all membership categories.

The Lightbox is still free to enter with no cost for the downstairs and mezzanine exhibits. Lightbox Lates will also continue with free entry to all galleries on the last Thursday every month after 5.30pm.

For the full story get the 5 September edition of the News & Mail

ALONG with 15 other walkers, Surrey residents Tabitha Richardson, 28, and Erin Grieve, 29, will be attempting the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge next month to raise money for mental health charity Woking Mind.

GOOD CAUSE – Erin, left, and Tabitha, who will be tackling the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge next month to honour the memory of Katherine

The walk is dedicated to the memory of Katherine Hannah who, at 27, died in a car crash in Australia last year.

Woking Mind supports adults in the local community living with mental health difficulties, providing a programme of activities that aim to build purpose, routine, personal and social development.

Occupational therapist and fundraiser Katherine Hannah, who died last year in a car crash in Australia

“Katherine spoke regularly about her concerns regarding the current state of our mental health service and desperately wanted to increase awareness in our local area and in the UK as a whole,” said Katherine’s friend and fundraiser, Tabitha.

The aim is to raise £10,000 between the 17 walkers attempting the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday 21 September. The walk is 24.5 miles with the highest peak at 2,414 feet. The walk involves more than 5,000 feet of climbing and the walkers are hoping to complete the challenge in around 10 hours.

To find out more about the challenge and to donate to Tabitha’s fundraising page please visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TabithaRichardson

For more information on Woking Mind, please visit: www.wokingmind.org.uk

For the full story get the 29 August edition of the News & Mail

WOKING Mind, this year celebrating its 40th anniversary, has elected former Mayor of Woking Will Forster as its new president

His new role was formerly confirmed at Woking Mind’s annual general meeting on 12 June when Will attended along with the new Mayor of Woking, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, who both joined some of the trustees and service members to cut a birthday cake for the local branch of the mental health charity.

Chair of trustees Pauline Rogers, new president Will Forster, Woking Mayor Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, along with service members Val and Angela, and treasurer John Ennett

Will takes over from David Rye, who was thanked for his passion and commitment to Woking Mind over his many years of service to the charity, in which he was also a former chairman of trustees.

Talking about his new role, Will Forster said: “Mental health services suffer from underfunding and lag behind in comparison to treatment for physical health problems, yet one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. Mental health is sadly the Cinderella service of our NHS, which is why the work that Woking Mind does is vital to support residents and top-up NHS services.”

Woking Mind delivers an extensive range of groups, courses and drop-in provision to help prevent mental health problems from escalating where possible and supporting recovery for their members. The charity also provides mental health training across Surrey to raise awareness and help break down stigma and prejudice around ill mental health through education.

For the full story get the 20 June edition of the News & Mail

MENTAL health charity Woking Mind opened in 1979 – but now, 40 years on, there are fears it could close.

Based at Courtenay Road, Woking, the charity provide support to people with mental health difficulties.

Woking Mind’s team of Mandy Dhingra, Elle Wilks and Jill Bishop

Some of the 200 registered members have been accessing Woking Mind’s services for 33 years, and last year another 1,005 non-registered members received phone and email support.

The member’s mental health conditions range from mild anxiety and depression to bi-polar, autism, OCD, psychosis, schizophrenia and drug and alcohol problems.

“We don’t offer clinical services. We provide social, emotional and practical support. It’s about being the organisation that people can’t find anywhere else,” said Elle Wilks, chief executive of Woking Mind.

The activities provided at the centre between 10am and 2pm Monday to Wednesday weekly include arts and crafts, creative writing, current affairs, walking, film club, gardening club, gentle exercise and visual journaling.

Last year the charity was in peril after a 60% cut in funding, but permanent staff members Elle Wilks, Jill Bishop and Mandy Dhingra managed to secure funding from Woking Borough Council.

“We’ve bought ourselves six months – but if we don’t raise £50,000 we’ll have to shut down next year,” said Elle.

Without any financial support from the umbrella charity Mind, Woking Mind are entirely self-supported and rely on donations and corporate funding to run their services.

The charity has a number of summer plans to celebrate their anniversary, spread the word and raise money. On Wednesday 10 July they are holding a birthday party for all service users, staff, volunteers and trustees.

Alongside this, Woking Mind are launching “40 for 40”, an initiative encouraging people to take on a 40-themed challenge to raise £40. For example, Freedom Leisure Centre are running a one-hour/40-station circuit class on Saturday 4 May at 11am and Funmumsfitness are running a sponsored 40-minute exercise activity at Sportsbox Woking, also on 4 May.

Debenhams Woking are supporting the charity for the month of April and Woking Mind are asking local businesses to try turning £40 into £400.

On Wednesday 12 June the charity is holding their Annual General Meeting at the Surrey History Centre, with an open invitation, to celebrate the previous year and showcase work from service users.

But amid the plans for the future, the fact remains that Woking Mind desperately need to raise funds to meet the increasing demand on their services.

“It’s a difficult thing for people to do in the current climate, but with us you know that every pound will go towards providing services,” said Elle.

People can help the charity by donating via cheque or online, raising funds and awareness, volunteering and following them on Twitter and Facebook: visit @Wokingmind and facebook.com/Wokingmind/.

For the full story get the 25 April edition of the News & Mail