We are pleased to update everyone on the progress of the mental health support service we have been working in conjunction with community leaders to bring to Tupton (North East Derbyshire).
Mental health issues affect one in four people at some point in their lives. Often people don’t know where to turn; and, often, aren’t quite ready to consult to their GP. Alternatively people have loved ones – family members and/or friends – who are experiencing mental health issues; but they don’t know how to help, or they need some support themselves.
Our Tupton councillors have been working with the mental health group, Rethink, and community leaders to provide a facility to help Tupton people access vital support. While the team is presently laying the foundations – with a view to launching the project as soon as possible – it now has a structure, a mission statement and a name: Tupton Safe Space Project.
Tupton Safe Space Project’s Secretary, Sarah Spencer, confirmed that the group wanted a name that supported its ethos to being a supportive environment where those experiencing mental health issues, their carers, friends and families could share their experiences – somewhere respectful and non-judgmental that offers encouragement and practical support. This is reflected in the group’s mission statement:
To empower all those affected with a better knowledge and understanding of their mental well-being; to make more informed choices about their treatment and own futures. To assist them through education, recreation and by sharing similar issues in a positive way and help them to move on and know that they’e not alone.
Tupton Safe Space Project’s Chair, Lesley Drew, added: “It’s about making sure that we have ongoing support. Mental health issues aren’t necessarily constant – so we need a facility where people can drop in and out as it’s needed.”
Part of this ongoing support will come from working with local NHS care providers: GPs and local hospitals – so that people experiencing issues can be informed that support is available to them. The group’s treasurer, Kelly Marson, confirmed the importance of this: “Often people experiencing mental health problems find it difficult to go to a group; adding extra obstacles such as having to catch a bus, or drive to Chesterfield, simply means that they won’t get the support they need.”
Cllr Pam Windley, a former foster-carer, has witnessed first-hand the effects of people self-harming, and living with drug and alcohol dependencies. “It’s important to break the cycle. All too often children growing up in homes where a parent is suffering mental health issues will experience the same problems. And parents are often afraid to seek help, because they believe that social services will take their children away. The Tupton Safe Space Project is there to ensure that everyone has access to the support they need without the fear of such things happening.”
The stigma of mental health issues is something Cllr David Hancock is keen to address:
“Given the statistics, there isn’t a family in this village that won’t be affected by mental health issues at some point. It’s our responsibility to the whole community to ensure that something is in place where people can gain easy access to the appropriate support for them. There’s nothing more ordinary than walking into a building you walk past every day of your life and so people should be able to find everyday support there.
“We have a great community in and around Tupton and we have a great wealth of experience. The people who are making this group a reality are so passionate and have such a wide range of professional experience they are building something that will serve this community for a very long time. It has been a genuine privilege to have been a part of it.”