Category Archives: MENTAL HEALTH

WHY THE WORD “SHOULD” IS MY NEMESIS

Author Anonymous

Something I have learnt over many years of mental illness is how the way I treat myself affects my mood and personal wellbeing.

Several years ago I reached a crisis situation with my mental health (or should I say “another crisis!”).  I knew I would find it hard to cope if I slipped into a state of severe illness that has happened to me before, so in an act of desperation I reached out for support to as many agencies as I could.

A part of the help I managed to obtain was being able to see a counsellor.  This was an odd experience for me, who had not got on with “talking therapies” in the past, but I was desperate.

Although I struggled with the counselling, it did achieve something that became a revelation to my way of thinking.

I remember vividly how the counsellor was looking at me.  A puzzled frown would come across her face.  Then she proceeded to ask me why I always used the word “should” when I talked about myself or what I was doing.  I couldn’t answer her.  Then she repeated the words I had used over the past few minutes and it became clear that my low self esteem and self hatred was coming out in my language.  The very language I spoke to myself all the time.

I should do this and I should do that; I ought to do this or I ought to do that.  The negative connotations of everything I said about myself were obvious for an outsider to see, but I was blinded to this punishing trait.

That afternoon was a revelation to me in the way I saw myself.  The way we use language is so important to the way we perceive the world around us and ourselves within that world.  I had been punishing myself in almost everything I had done for years.  Being hard on oneself discourages one’s self development in so many ways.

It creates pressure on us and provides punishment when our standards are simply too high.  It provides the outlet of guilt on our shoulders as we see ourselves failing in the things we tell ourselves we “must” achieve.

I learnt, over time, that by replacing the word “should”, with the words “I would like to” or “I could do” somehow made life seem so much easier.  Rather than piling stress and guilt on my shoulders, it provided a possibility of enjoying what I was doing, and that what I wanted to do or achieve was a positive step rather than a chore.

There are many examples of unhealthy and punishing language and ways of thinking, but for me, the realisation of the way I speak to and about myself has allowed me to change not only the way I think but to challenge the image I have of myself.  To lift the burden of expectation and to carry on my daily tasks by wanting to do them rather than seeing them as something I must do.

By reaching out and trying many different ways to help my mental wellbeing, one of the most valuable lessons has been the language I use and the way I see myself and the daily tasks ahead.

I now avoid the use of these punishing phrases and I can even laugh when I do use them.  It has taken a long time, but I can now recognise when my language becomes negative and punishing and I can challenge my thought process.

This wellness tool, of challenging the way I use language, has been one of the most useful lessons I have learnt.

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IS SUICIDE SELFISH?

After the carefully thought out philosophical comments by Jeremy Clarkson this week, it made me think further about the stigma in society that we face about  suicide and those in mental distress.

The common preconceptions that suicide is “selfish” appears to still pervade society’s public houses and homes throughout the UK.  After all this time, can mental illness ever lose it’s stigma, or will it remain the acceptable butt of people’s jokes and prejudices.

Something in the region of 1 in 4 people suffer mental distress each year and suicidal thoughts can be a regular occurrence for those in extreme distress.  Suicide is the biggest killer in the “world” of all young people (under 25), while each year more people die in the UK from suicide than they do from road traffic deaths and homicides combined.    Yet despite this, people are loath to talk about this subject or to acknowledge it’s significance.

This cultural attitude is exemplified by the ignorant and over bearing like Jeremy Clarkson who are happy to comment on subjects he knows little about in order to garner more kudos from his “fans” and of course gain himself a “little earner” – (did you know he had a new dvd out? )  – I’m sure being racist would be on his radar if he thought he could get away with it.

Unlike many, I have to say I am not a Clarkson hater.  I find his pithy vaguely funny remarks in a sometimes overbearingly politically correct world sometimes entertaining. However, what many episodes along the way have shown is that his ignorance and willingness to offend for monetary gain, gives his game away.

Suicide is selfish

An interesting statement, and many believe it.  The cognitive thought process that goes into this statement

Suicide is selfish

Is easy to understand.  We see the individual.  We see the consequences.  We see the son, daughter, mother, father, wife, husband, lover, family, home – left behind, seemingly to pick up the pieces.  To carry on, with the cloud that suicide leaves in it’s wake darkening the lives of those left behind.

I hear the call that it is an “individual choice”, surely we all have a choice.  People who commit suicide have a choice to commit the act of suicide or not to.

All of this makes sense to many people.  It’s obvious isn’t it?

Over the past year, I have volunteered for a charity called CHANGES BRISTOL which provides support groups for those in mental distress.  The subject of suicide comes up all too frequently.

Many who have suicidal thoughts are never allowed to articulate these thoughts in society, due to the stigma and taboo surrounding the subject.  Yet in a safe and non judgemental environment people can and do open up.  Sometimes, to ask someone if they feel suicidal, or if they have ever thought that suicide was an option, the relief they experience is tangible to see.

Suicide is real.  It is committed by the old and young; black and white; male and female.  It cuts across boundaries and those suffering from mental distress can be found in every corner of our society.

For those who attempt suicide, it is often a transient feeling at the depths of despair.  For those who fail in their attempt at suicide, most when asked 12 months later are happy they failed.  Their life has moved on and things change – they are now in a better place.

The more we can help those with suicidal thoughts get past this moment of despair, the more chance we have of saving lives.  Not just the lives of those who commit the act, but of their families and friends.

The truth is hard for many to come to terms with, but for most who attempt suicide, their cognitive functions are diminished. That is at the moment of attempting suicide, they are in so much pain, that they cannot think through their actions or what it would mean to their families.  Indeed many reach the     cul-de-sac of thought where there is no other option – their family would be better off without them.

This is not a thought process that could be described under the heading of “selfish”.

There are others, who have been so ill and in so much pain for so long (decades in some cases), that they do come to a decision that to end their lives is the only option for them.  In these minority of cases, who are we to judge their “selfishness”.

“Every year, around 200 people decide the best way to go is by hurling themselves in front of a speeding train.”

“In some ways they are right. This method has a 90 per cent success rate and it’s quick.”

“But it is a very selfish way to go. The disruption it causes is immense – and think what it’s like for the poor driver”

“Change the driver, pick up the big bits of what’s left of the victim, get the train moving as soon as possible and let foxy woxy and the birds nibble away at the smaller, gooey parts that are far away or hard to find.’

Jeremy Clarkson

It appears the “gooey” bits that he should be concerned about are that which is not functioning to it’s full capacity between his ears.  Or maybe the problem is that it is functioning to it’s full capacity.

In truth the only way society can move forward is when we can have a sensible and level headed debate about suicide in this country.  To reveal the inadequacies of our mental health services and to be honest about the extent of the problems we face.   Suicide must no longer be the taboo that we should never discuss, but a reality.  The less stigma and prejudice we have in society against mental illness the more people will get help for their problems and the fewer suicides we will have.

This new attitude and the end to the stigma of mental illness should please Mr Clarkson, after all, this would mean for him – fewer delays on the trains, and less of his precious time “wasted” .

MENTAL HEALTH AND THE SPACE AROUND US

For those of us who suffer from depression, we do not need to be told that our environment affects our wellbeing. Yet time and again we are reminded that policy makers don’t share the knowledge that the rest of us have.

We have a housing crisis in this country that affects the wellbeing of millions of people.  From the shortage of housing that has been an abdication of the responsibility of governments over the past 30 years, to the way houses are built and the lack of social housing in general.

It is well know that housing in the UK has the smallest footprint of any domestic dwelling when comparing them with our comparable European neighbours.  Some would say “size does not matter”, but when combined with the poor building practices of the construction industry in the UK and poor design, the chances of people getting from their housing not only what they want but what they need is slim.

Our environment and surroundings are key to people’s wellbeing.  Studies have shown that poor housing or homelessness can contribute to mental illness or make coping with periods of mental illness more difficult. This is further compounded by the fact that poor housing and homelessness tend to go hand in hand with other forms of social exclusion like poverty.

Architects and commercial companies, at the pinnacle of the hierarchy within our construction and design industry, have sometimes been the worst to blame for this abdication of responsibility for a good environment within our homes. Housing has become a way of getting as many featureless boxes on a patch of ground as possible, to earn as much money as possible, rather than concentrating on the quality of the homes they produce.

Using solar gains in an intelligent way when buildings are built is key, not only to allow a substantial amount of light into a property, which obviously helps mental wellbeing, but also allows heat gains and can reduce heating bills.

Our housing is too small; too dark; badly insulated; expensive to heat and often poorly designed.  We are years behind our European counterparts in Germany or Denmark for example, and while the government pontificates, our housing crises continues unabated.

The scandal of the past 30 years is coming home to roost.  Mental Health problems are on the rise for many reasons, and the improvement of housing conditions and the availability of good quality housing to ALL would be just one small CHANGE that would help mental wellbeing.

IS THIS OUR CIVIL SOCIETY?


The ramblings of a disconcerted citizen

In uncertain times the ideas of a civilised society are tested almost to breaking point, but the point of a real civilised society is that it is able to protect the most vulnerable in society at the times they are most in need.

Over the past few years it appears to me that our civil society structure is being tested possibly beyond breaking point.

We are told by our politicians that we are “all in this together”, while at the same time advocating damaging policies that seem to be aimed at the most vulnerable in our society.  This is not party political, but a general observation.

It has been revealed in a recent study that with care for the elderly, 20% of our hospitals do not even provide care that would be adequate in law, and over half of the hospitals failed to meet basic standards.  Can this be justified in any society?

Councils up and down the country are closing libraries as they are seen as a “soft” target to cut costs.  The argument is that everyone can use the internet, conveniently forgetting that 20% of households do not have access to the internet, and that certain sections of our society can only access reading material and the internet via libraries.

Of course these sections of our communities tend to be the old; young; unemployed; disabled; single parents and those in poverty.  In other words, those at the margins of our society and the most vulnerable.

Assessment’s for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and the general stigmatisation of anyone with a disability who claims benefits in the national press is yet another cause for concern.  The many stories that are told by those with physical and mental disabilities about how they have been treated in their assessments for benefits are quite horrific.  Indeed so horrific, that the process itself quite often exacerbates any illness the applicant has.

Mental illness has been at the forefront of this injustice.  It appears to be the case, that it is acceptable to refuse people ESA on the most flimsy of grounds and to provide an assessment in a short period of time with a tick sheet mentality.

We all know that the diagnosis of a mental illness can take a long time, even years, and many mental illnesses can change on a day by day or even hour by hour basis.  So how can an assessment be made so quickly that will affect the living standards and quality of life of an individual and their family?

I could give many examples, whether from those suffering from Bipolar; depression; social anxiety; personality disorders and so on.  One day that person could be fit for work, the next they may be completely incapacitated.  Yet the criteria for those making decisions that will affect the wellbeing and health of a human being is being stripped down to a tick sheet and the need to cut costs.  It appears that no consideration is being given to the consequences of these decisions, even if it means in a minority of cases, death.

Mental health services are also being stretched to breaking point with the need to make space for the next patient in a crisis being paramount.

It strikes me that those with mental illnesses are the easy targets for the powers that be.  Our society is becoming a case of “WHO SHOUTS LOUDEST”. Whether it is the young; the elderly; those in social need or the ill, they have become the easy targets. The question is, why should people have to fight to be treated with respect?  It is clear that many in mental distress will find it most difficult to fight against an unjust decision by benefit agencies, which must be known by those implementing the policies.

It now appears from the evidence of real people at the sharp end that the safety net is no longer catching all those it was set up to help.

I have to ask, IS THIS REALLY OUR CIVIL SOCIETY?

Mindfulness – a Mental Health strategy that we can all learn from

How many of us can say we live “in the moment”.

We often have to or at least feel that we have to think of the future and too often of our past.  Worrying becomes a way of life as we project into the future and have feelings and regrets about the past.

Over time, psychologists have come to see this way of thinking as being very bad for our mental wellbeing.

Mindfulness is a tradition of thinking brought to us originally from a Budhist perspective which has now been utilised by the psychology division of science to help in the way people think about their world.

This is not about “religion”, but a way of thinking which can relieve some symptoms and fundamentally change peoples perception and alleviate mental health problems.

Mindfulness – thinking in the here and now, bringing one’s attention to the present and on a moment by moment basis is fundamentally healthy.  How often have we stopped to admire and even notice the micro beauty of life.  The first buds in spring; or the dawn mist on an early summers day; or even to acknowledge while reading a book that actually, I am feeling alright or I am content?

Too often we are obsessed with what will happen next and planning for our next challenge, and if what we expect does not happen being disappointed or even distraught.

A recent article written by Rick Hanson phd called “the practice of noticing that you are alright, right now”, is a fascinating read and I have reproduced it below.  The original article can be found here.

It is not a matter of being mentally unwell that mindfulness can help, but is a tool of life and a way of thinking that can help us all to appreciate our ow lives and the here and now.

original article:

To keep our ancestors alive, the brain evolved strong tendencies toward fear, including an ongoing internal trickle of unease. This little whisper of worry keeps you scanning your inner and outer worlds for signs of trouble.

This background of unsettledness and watchfulness is so automatic that you can forget it’s there. So see if you can tune into a tension, guarding or bracing in your body. Or a vigilance about your environment or other people. Or a block against completely relaxing, letting down, letting go. Try to walk through an office or store that you know is safe without a molecule of wariness; it’s really hard. Or try to sit at home for five minutes straight while feeling undefended, soft in your body, utterly comfortable in the moment as it is, at peace. This is impossible for most people.

The brain’s default setting of apprehensiveness is a great way to keep a monkey looking over its shoulder for something about to pounce. But it’s a crummy way to live. It wears down well-being, feeds anxiety and depression and makes people play small in life.

Even worse, it’s based on a lie.

The muttering of fear tells you implicitly, “Watch out, bad things are happening you’re not seeing, don’t ever think you’re completely OK, never let down your guard.”

But take a close look at this moment, right now. You are probably alright: No one is attacking you, you are not drowning, no bombs are falling, there is no crisis. It’s not perfect, but you’re OK.

By “right now,” I really mean this instant. When we go into the future, we worry and plan. When we go into the past, we resent and regret. Threads of fear are woven into the mental tapestries of past and future. Look again at the thin slice of time that is the present. In this moment, are you basically OK? Is breathing OK? Is the heart beating? Is the mind working? The answers are almost certainly yes.

In daily life, it’s possible to access this fundamental sense of alrightness even while getting things done. You’re not ignoring real threats or issues, or pretending that everything is perfect. It’s not. But in the middle of everything, you can usually see that you’re actually alright right now.

So, several times a day, notice that you’re basically alright.

You may want more money or love, or simply salt for your French fries. Or want less pain, heartache or rush hour traffic. All very reasonable. But meanwhile, underneath all the to-ing and fro-ing, you are OK. The foundation of your activities is an aliveness and an awareness that is doing fine this second.

There you are doing dishes; notice that “I’m alright right now,” and perhaps even say that softly in your mind. Or you are driving: I’m alright right now. Or you’re talking with someone: I’m alright right now. Or doing emails or putting a child to bed: I’m alright right now.

Notice that, while feeling alright right now, you can still get things done and deal with problems. The fear that bad things will happen if you let yourself feel OK is unfounded. Let this sink in. You do not need to fear feeling alright!

Sometimes you’re really not alright. Maybe something terrible has happened, or your body is very disturbed, or your mind is very upset. Do what you can at these times to ride out the storm. But as soon as possible, notice that the core of your being is OK, like the quiet place fifty feet below a hurricane howling above the sea.

Noticing that you’re actually alright right now is not some kind of cosmic consciousness (usually), nor laying some positive attitude over your life like a pretty veil. Instead, you are knowing a simple but profound fact: In this moment I am alright. You are sensing the truth in your body, deeper than fear, that it is breathing and living and OK. You are recognizing that your mind is functioning fine no matter how nutty and not-fine the contents swirling through it are.

Settling into this basic sense of okayness is a powerful way to build well-being and resources in your brain and self. You’re taking a stand for the truth — and against the lies murmured by “Mother Nature.”

Suicide, Self Harm and the NHS

I remember my school days with mixed feelings, however, I do remember certain attitudes and phrases that have lived with me or that I remember fondly or otherwise.

One such phrase was a sarcastic one which was used by my economics teacher. He always talked of the “Angels”.  Never say anything against the “Angels” he would say.

The Angels were of the course the NHS nurses.  They could do no wrong, neither could the Doctors.  Of course this is only true until a politician decides stigmatising a profession or other suits their course, but that is another story.

In the past few years I have come to see health professionals in a different light as my dealings have turned from specifically a “user” to someone who has to liaise with and discuss aspects of NHS and voluntary sector mental health services.

Suicide and Self harm are some of the most extreme actions committed by those in mental distress, and listening to the torment that those who inflict harm on themselves feel can be disturbing and heartbreaking.

It is hard for those whose experience in life does not include extreme mental anguish, anxiety and depression, to understand the mentality of taking actions that actively harms ones self.  It is perhaps beyond the logic of the “well” mind.

It is for this reason that many suffering such illnesses do not like to engage some health services.  They do not want sympathy, but perhaps respond better to empathy, from those in a position of understanding.  Indeed some experience of our health services lead people into a cycle of worse mental health as a result of that engagement with the professionals in health provision.

It is a sad thing to say, but many in the NHS do not understand or indeed care about the mental health conditions that they come into contact with on a daily basis.  It may well be a minority, but it comes up with such regularity that it is hard not to conclude it is a real problem.

The stories of those treated with a lack of respect or a lot worse can be seen all over the internet.  It is remarkable in this day and age that there is not some cross over of training to include the mentally distressed when they come into contact with other health professionals.

Stories of a person having a heart attack and being taken to hospital for treatment, to be faced with a Doctor who see’s scars of self harm and proceeds to lecture the patient and to say he did not want to treat the patient and why are they wasting their time .  Treating the patient with disrespect, disregard and insulting them.

On other occasions such treatment has led to suicide attempts.

Then there are the stories of those who attend hospital due to a self harming episode to be again insulted for “wasting” their time and deliberately making a shoddy job of the “treatment”, causing yet more anguish.

There are additional stories of refusing to use pain killing treatment because of the idea that if it hurts sufficiently they won’t come back!

Then there are those within the mental health profession themselves, who are so stretched, or that have such skewed priorities and rules that even knowing patients require help, they refuse them on the basis that a time limit has been reached.

If anyone was unaware, mental health conditions do not heal themselves to a time table.

If you would like to see the effects of some of these issues have a look at the PurpeNoise blog where some of the issues are graphically illustrated.

 

Some people tell me that mental health issues are no longer “stigmatised” or that our mental health provision is “a lot better than it used to be”.  The proof of the pudding as they is in the eating, and I am beginning to have my fill.

Stigmatisation is still apparent, in corners of our society that would surprise many people, and the mentally ill are still the first to be cast adrift in society when the chips are down.

If this would surprise you, then look at the details of the new Employment Support Allowance and the glee with which the tabloids miss represent stories of who is available for work following the new “assessment” procedures.

Those with depression and other mental illnesses are the least able to “shout loudest” to get what they need.  Yet the new assessments are designed exactly for this reason in mind.  It is not about need, but about saving money, no matter who suffers.

This is not political, all parties are sharing the helm on this policy, and it sickens me.

So, for the many “Angels” who do their job without prejudice and professionally, showing consideration and sympathy, please continue your superb hard work and teach the others in your profession the way human beings are supposed to behave.

Compassion is not a dirty word.

Mental Health Services in Bristol: “Changes Bristol” Mental Health Support Groups

Author Anon

Mental Health services are stretched throughout the UK and it is getting tougher all the time.  Funding for mental health charities is getting harder to come by and the lack of joined up thinking within our NHS with Mental Health Services is constantly challenged.

In Bristol, services are limited and the help those with challenges such as depression, anxiety, social anxiety, OCD, Personality disorders, self harming, low self esteem, and Body Dysmorphia  are constantly let down by a state system that does not wish to fund or take seriously illnesses we can’t see.

There are many GP’s who are excellent when the patient comes with their problems.  However, there are a good too many who take the easy option or are ignorant of the options available to them.

Due to the inadequacies of the NHS in this field of medicine, many charities exist that provide gaps in health services.  Whether it is coffee mornings where people can go and interact with others who have suffered similar problems or simply break the cycle of isolation; charities that provide support groups that sign post to other organisations or those that provide limited counselling services for a low cost or for free.

Those that suffer from debilitating illnesses like depression find it hard to reach out and be pro-active, so when visiting the GP they would massively benefit from being given information on the options available both within the NHS and locally elsewhere.  Yet even when charities approach PCT’s and GP practices, they are not accommodated or information is not passed on to patients in all too many occasions.

This is very sad, and lets down the very patients they are trying to help.

Getting a GP surgery to take notice of services on offer can be a thankless task. First you have to get passed the stone wall tactics of the “Practice manager”.  A filtering service for the GP, giving them information they “need to know”.

Then if you get passed that hurdle, to get to talk to the GP’s or practice manager to provide information can be an even bigger obstacle.

Can it really be that difficult for a GP to give a patient a piece of paper with local services and charities that could help with their condition? Just one piece of paper? Apparently it is in many cases.

Too frequently the same old avenues are taken.  Medication first – then maybe referral for some talking therapy on the NHS or maybe even CBT – provided you are willing to wait 10 weeks in the mean time (if your lucky).  With the average lead time on medication working anything from 3 weeks to 3 months, it is hardly likely to give any comfort initially to those in a life crisis.

I even know of one case where a mental health charity was holding a support group within a GP practice where there were at least 10 GP’s practising, yet patients were never referred from that practice because the GP’s did not even know the support group existed in the very building they worked in every day.

Joined up mental health services? I hardly think so.

Thankfully, there are many charities and voluntary organisations who do provide services and for those within the Bristol area, one of those organisations is CHANGES BRISTOL.

Changes Bristol” is a Mental Health Charity serving the communities throughout Bristol and currently trying to expand to help more people.

The charity provides venues where any adult can come in a safe and friendly environment to meet other like minded individuals and to share what is happening in their lives.

The meetings are non-judgemental and whatever is said in the room remains in the room – confidentiality is key.

The groups are also a forum where mental health topics are discussed.  The Charity facilitates a 12 step programme where people can chart their progress in coping with or recovering from depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns. The charity is non religious.

The 12 Steps 

  • .   Admit you’ve got a problem
    2.   Take Action
    3.   Trust and Cooperate
    4.   Get the Power
    5.   Use and develop personal resources
    6.   Begin Personal Evaluation
    7.   Cultivate Healthy Thinking
    8.   Cultivate Healthy Behaviour
    9.   Realise that Feelings are not Facts
    10. Get on with Your Life
    11. Give it Time
    12. Pass it On
The groups are free though you can donate at each meeting if you would like. Venues include:

MONDAY EVENING – BARTON HILL  7.15-9.30pm (please come at 7pm for a prompt start) The Wellspring Centre, Beam St, Barton Hill, Bristol BS5 9QY

By bus: The number 36 passes close by along Avondale Road and stops very near on the end of Beam Street. Numbers 6, 7, 41, 42, 43, 44 and 45 stop near Lawrence Hill train station – it’s about a 5 – 10 minute walk from there up Ducie Road.


TUESDAY DAYTIME – HARTCLIFFE  11am- 1.15pm (please come at 10.50am for a prompt start) @Symes Community Building Peterson Avenue, Hartcliffe Bristol BS13 OBE. The meetings are in the same entrance as the Library, in the top corner of the Morrisons car park, just ask at reception. By bus: The numbers 36 and 75 stop a short walk away on Bishport Avenue

TUESDAY EVENING – HORFIELD  7.15-9.30pm (please come at 7pm for a prompt start) The Friends Meeting House, 300 Gloucester Rd, Horfield, Bristol, BS7 8PD  

By bus: The number 73, 73B, 75, 76, 76A, X11, 309, 310, U1 and U2 stop directly outside the building on Gloucester Road and accross the road.

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON- REDCATCH, KNOWLE  1.30pm – 3.30pm Redcatch Community Centre, Redcatch Road, Knowle, Bristol, BS4 2EP. By bus: The numbers 379, 376, 54, 51, 36 stop at Greenmore Road and Broad Walk shops a short distance away.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON- WESTBURY-ON-TRYM   1.40pm – 3.40pm (please come at 1.30pm for a prompt start) Westbury-on-Trym Village Hall, Eastfield Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 4AG

By bus: The numbers 1 and 20 stop a short distance away on in the centre of the village

THURSDAY EVENING- HORFIELD   7.15-9.30pm (please come at 7pm for a prompt start) The Friends Meeting House, 300 Gloucester Rd, Horfield, Bristol, BS7 8PD

By bus: The number 75 and 76 stop directly outside the building on Gloucester Road

FRIDAY DAYTIME – BEDMINSTER  10.45m- 1.00pm (please come at 10.35am for a prompt start) RNIB Offices, 10 Stillhouse Lane, Bedminster Bristol, BS3 4EB.

By bus: The numbers 52, 75, 76, 90 all stop on Bedminster Parade, close to ASDA Please note that parking at the RNIB car park is not permitted.

More details are at the Changes Bristol website.
There is help out there, it just takes more time to find it for those suffering depression and anxiety and other mental health conditions.