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Preston-based online mental health support group now meeting in person

Posted on - 26th November, 2019 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, City Centre, Health, Preston City Centre, Preston News, What's On in Preston
Rachel outside The Larder
Rachel outside The Larder after her first meet up

An online mental health support group started by a Longridge woman has gone offline.

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Rachel Phoenix is holding weekly Rise and Shine meetings in Preston city centre so people aged 18 and above can access peer support in person if they wish.

Rachel started the Preston branch of Blackburn-based group Rise and Shine on Facebook in September.

Read more: Longridge woman launches new branch of friend’s online mental health support group

The first two meet ups have been held at The Larder in Lancaster Road.

Rachel said: “The meetings offer people a chance to socialise, let off steam and make great friends, while learning skills such as mindfulness to help maintain and improve mental wellbeing.

“I’ve introduced check-ins, where we go round the group and ask how everyone is and how their week has been. In future, time permitting, I’d like to do some short guided meditation designed to bring our attention back to ourselves rather than the stresses and anxieties of everyday life.”

Read more: New peer support group launching for Preston 18-30s facing depression

As someone who herself has had mental health problems, Rachel understands it can be hard to get out and about.

“I do understand that people suffering with mental illness can feel as though they can’t leave their home, or that they don’t have the energy to get showered and dressed, and make their way into town.

“I have had mental health problems myself for 19 years and at times I was completely housebound, so I really do get it.

“The Thursday meetings offer something different but the Facebook group is still there so if you can’t make our meeting in person you can still get the same support and social benefit.”

For now Rachel will be trying to grow the Thursday afternoon meetings, but she is looking to extend the meet ups in future to include an evening or weekend version.

Rise and Shine meet ups take place on Thursday from 1.30pm to 2.30pm. The location is subject to change, and Rachel is keen to hear from any venues in Preston city centre that have a room that can be booked free of charge.

Join the Rise and Shine Preston Facebook group for more information.

Read more: Be a ‘mental health mate’ and join these monthly walks in Preston

Have you joined Rise and Shine? What do you think of the initiative? Let us know in the comments.

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