“You go to therapy?! You don’t need that, just go shopping! That’ll make you feel better!”
“Therapy?! That’s for crazy people, right?”
“If I go to therapy, will they take my kids away?”
Comments like this tend not to encourage people to try therapy.
There are all sorts of preconceptions about therapy: what it is, who it’s for and how it can help.
Some of them are true: there is a massive shortage of free or affordable services provided by the voluntary sector, so when people say it’s a luxury they can’t afford, there is an element of truth to that.
There are also some very real cultural sensitivities need to be taken into account: there are some people who think that talking about your problems is simply not done – they don’t want strangers “knowing their business”.
There is still a huge stigma around mental health. Admitting you’re depressed or seeking help because you’re just not coping very well can still be a taboo.
Celebrities such as Catherine Zeta Jones, Stephen Fry, Andrew Flintoff and JK Rowling speaking publicly about their mental health problems can help people realise that anybody can be affected, but it can still be very difficult to acknowledge that help is needed.
Our community development projects try to reach women who are already involved with statutory or voluntary agencies in order to help them access emotional support.
We offer information sessions and workshops that get women used to the idea of talking about their emotions, breaking down the potential embarrassment around admitting they have problems.
We also offer a 6-week support group that focuses on breaking down the social isolation that young mothers in particular can face, as well as getting women used to the group dynamic. The third stage of our service is to offer women individual or group therapy at the centre for one year.
If you think you or someone you know could benefit from this type of emotional support, please contact Kerri on 07988 676713 or email on for more information.