Support for mental illness

Jonny Glenn with the team at Healthy Minds.
Jonny Glenn with the team at Healthy Minds.

Healthy Minds has been offering advice and support for Calderdale residents living with mental distress for the past seven years.

The charity works on a self-referral basis, meaning that people can access support without having to book it through their local GP.

“In any given year one in four of us will suffer with some form of mental illness,” said Tara Guha who oversees Healthy Minds’ anti-stigma project.

She explained that one of the biggest problems for people living with mental illness is the stigma.

She said: “We run workshops in schools to challenge people’s perceptions of mental illness.

“Like any other illness it can come and go, or it can be something you have to find ways to live with.”

The charity runs a number of support groups, workshops and forums to help people recover from mental distress or find ways to manage and live with long-term conditions.

“Its about making sure people aren’t defined by their illness,” said Jonny Glenn, manager at Healthy Minds.

“If you go to a GP to talk about mental illness, it’s usually because you’ve got to a point where mental distress is becoming the biggest part of your life.

“The way they tend to deal with issues is to prescribe drugs or put you on the waiting list for help.

“But if you feel you’re at the point where you need help, being put on a waiting list might not be the best approach.”

Healthy Minds runs a ramge of support groups for a variety of mental health issues, including support for depression, anxiety, self-harm, and help for struggling mothers.

“There’s no judgement - we’re about providing support and empathy,” said Jonny.

“Many of our volunteers have been through mental distress themselves, so it’s a very supportive and safe environment.”

Jonny said the charity is currently seeking people with experience of mental illness in their personal or professional life to become a trustee of the charity.