A peaceful place to talk

It would be nice to think that as life returns to usual, that all the mental health and wellbeing worries would just slip away.

If only we could file the problems in a sealed box that read “Pandemic – melt down. Never to be opened again”, but sadly, that’s just not realistic. Mental health and wellbeing concerns were evident prior to the pandemic and will continue to be a part of life afterwards.

Increased levels of anxiety, worry and depression are some of the most keenly felt mental health problems that 1 in 4 adults in the UK experiences on a regular basis. While 1 in 6 children has anxiety.

Because the past 12 months have been so challenging, it’s little wonder that the World Health Organisation expressed concern for the mental health and wellbeing of people everywhere due to the direct impact Covid-19 has had.

One of the most difficult aspects about the pandemic has been the uncertainty of not knowing how much longer the crisis was going to last and when the separation from school, work, family members and friends was going to end.

Thankfully the vaccines are been rolled out, schools have reopened, and it appears that life is starting to regain positive momentum. But there’s much still much to be done in terms of addressing mental health and wellbeing as a community.

Last year I spoke with Rev Lindsey Pearson, who has been the Vicar of Beeston for 8 years. We were both keen to provide a community resource for people to speak freely and non-judgmentally about their mental health and wellbeing experiences. A safe, calm, space for people to come together.

“A parish church like St Mary’s Beeston should be a resource for everyone in our community, whether you share the Christian faith or not, and whether you are a church-goer or not. I have always found St Mary’s to be a peaceful space and I’d love to share that with others. It’s a building where people have brought their joys and sorrows over the decades and where we can handle talking about the really difficult things we face – including death itself” said Lindsey.

Starting in June there will be a selection of wellbeing-based workshops available at the church and online including Mindfulness, Managing Anxiety and Breathing Techniques to Reduce Stress.

You will leave the sessions with a variety of self-care methods that can be used every day to manage some of the uncomfortable intrusive thoughts and feelings we can all experience on occasion. Simple things like breathing exercises, how to relax, mindfulness and general wellbeing.

The sessions which will be held at St Mary’s in Beeston are open to all and are completely free of charge. Lindsey commented:

“I’m hugely pleased that St Mary’s Beeston is working with Shannon to help us all with our wellbeing. The last year has been so hard for everyone. Lots of people (me included) have not slept as well, or have felt anxious or fearful at various times. The strain of daily living has increased. I’m hoping we can grow ways of helping ourselves and each other.”

Please note that the sessions are purely therapeutic in nature and aren’t there to clinically diagnose or treat mental health conditions.They are to provide a safe environment to talk, learn and share simple self-care techniques. If you are struggling with your mental health now, please seek advice from your GP or a medical professional.

For more information about the sessions please contact Rev Lindsey Pearson on 07961 016052 or email revlcp@btinternet.com


This post was written by Shannon Humphrey who is a First Aid for Mental Health Instructor and EFT/CBT Practitioner. For more information about the work she does visit: www.pathwaysforpositivity.com