Paul Mullins reports
A Derry City based charity, which helps those battling mental illness, has announced the creation of a new support group to help those dealing with the affliction.
Aware Defeat Depression has announced that the new support group will help those caring for people affected by depression or bipolar disorder. This includes sufferers, relatives and friends.
Allison Smyth from the Charity said that the aim of the groups is to “bring together people with similar problems in the hope that you can support and be supported by them and that you will learn more about your own illness and the best way how to cope with it.”
The support group offers advice and a listening ear to those living with mental illness. The group is led by trained facilitators, mostly from people who have suffered from depression themselves or someone close to them has.
Aware have also appealed to anyone who may be willing to volunteer to work with the charity to get in contact as they currently have a variety of positions available. The opportunities range from being a facilitator of a support group, to working for the helpline or general admin duties. The charity has said that if the position applied for is one of those offering a service then applicants will need to go meet the criteria, go through training and will require a police check. Though for fundraising and admin positions this is not required.
Aware has twenty support groups for people with depression and their families and carers across the whole of Northern Ireland. Aware have announced there will be two support groups in Derry. A spokesperson said: “The impact of depression can be enormous, surveys show that 40% of those who care for an afflicted loved one, are themselves sufficiently distressed and in need of help.”
The new support group will meet every Wednesday starting from 11th April at the Aware Defeat Depression Offices, 56 Strand Road, Derry. For more information and how to apply to volunteer with the charity log on to http://www.aware-ni.org.uk/
Other useful links for those suffering or caring for someone with depression.