Depression charity offering free support to people in Newry
AWARE – the national depression charity for Northern Ireland, is encouraging people in Newry and the surrounding area affected by depression or bipolar disorder to come to their group support meetings which could prove to be very helpful to them in coping with this illness.
The Newry AWARE Group meets in Ballybot House on a Wednesday evening at 7:30pm.
The group meets on a fortnightly basis and is free to attend. No appointment is necessary so just turn up on the night the group is running and a trained support group facilitator will welcome you in with a cup of tea or coffee.
Siobhan Doherty is Chief Executive of AWARE and said, “The purpose of an AWARE group is to bring together people with depression and bipolar disorder to support each other and learn more about the illness and treatments available.
“Attending a group also enables people to share experiences, discuss self-help strategies and coping skills that will help in the recovery process. Carers for people with depression are also welcomed into an AWARE Support Group.
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“I would encourage anyone that is thinking about going but perhaps anxious about going alone, to bring along a friend or family member on the first night. We welcome and support carers for people with depression so this is absolutely not a problem.
She added, “As a charity, we are continually seeking volunteers to help us facilitate our life-saving groups. If you would be interested in helping us volunteer then please get in touch.”
Jarlath McCreanor is the group facilitator at the Newry group and attended an AWARE group himself following a diagnosis of depression. Jarlath also facilitates two other groups and supports AWARE to get the message out to people suffering with depression that support exists for them.
Recently he got a car wrapped in AWARE branding in a bid to promote the charities work and drives it around Northern Ireland. Jarlath said, “AWARE is an amazing charity. I started to go to their support groups about five years ago. And since then my journey has not been quite as tough,” he said.
“I am now a support group facilitator for 3 groups. When you are sitting in a room with other people who know exactly what you are going through because they have experienced it too, it makes such a difference. If you are feeling nervous about attending a group, phone through to the AWARE Offices and ask the facilitator to meet you 10 or 15 minutes before the group starts.
“There is still a terrible stigma around depression and it is still the illness talked about in whispers. We need to tackle it for the sake of the future of our young people.”
For more information on AWARE and the services they provide in Newry, visit their website www.aware-ni.org or call 028 9035 7820. The next AWARE Group will meet on 8 February and then again on 22 February at 7:30pm each evening.
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