A woman from Longridge has launched an online peer support group to help people facing mental health challenges.Advertisement
Rachel Phoenix started the Preston branch of Blackburn-based group Rise and Shine on Facebook in September. The group’s feed consists of positive quotes, links to useful resource, and personal posts from members.
Rise and Shine was originally created by Rachel’s friend Adam Graham, after his brother sadly took his own life in January 2018.
Rachel said: “Adam originally set up the group with the help of his partner, sister and mother, to encourage people to improve their mental health through lifestyle changes such as getting up earlier, being more active, and using meditation and mindfulness in their daily routines.
“People in the group began responding more to the mental health aspect of the group rather than the activity or healthy eating posts. The group began to take on its own form, and evolved into the mental health support group it is today.
“Adam feels that the group has now become something that he can run in honour of his brother Damian. He was always ready to help other people, especially in the area of mental health, and so Rise and Shine is a fitting tribute.”
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The long-term plan for Rise and Shine is to become a registered charity and expand across Lancashire.
Rachel said: “Adam wants to create more groups that are individual to each town and city. However, he wants Rise and Shine to stay within the county so as not to lose touch with his roots, or to forget the unique nature of the demands of living in the north west, which are so often forgotten by those elsewhere in the UK.”
The Preston branch is the first expansion for Rise and Shine, and Rachel is keen to spread the word across the area.
Rachel said: “I hope to be able to take the Preston group on to the same level of success as Blackburn, and beyond.
“Rise and Shine Preston is here to support and encourage people of all ages, genders, races, abilities or disabilities – mental illness does not discriminate and neither do we.
“We can only function with the participation of our members! If you live in Preston or in the immediate surrounding areas, come and join us. There are no complicated rules or questions, just a simple agreement to treat people with dignity and respect.”
Join the Rise and Shine Preston Facebook group for more information.
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What do you think of Rise and Shine? Let us know in the comments below.