I founded an online mental health support group called Harrogate Black Dog back in 2005 and there are now nearly 600 members. It is a great group and people provide each other with support and understanding without being judged or ridiculed.
I retrained as a complementary therapist and during my training I practiced on the group members. I knew that it would be something that they would enjoy but I wasn’t prepared for the changes that happened in people because of it.
Over 87% of people felt an immediate sense of relaxation and calmness directly following a treatment. This improved even more following a second treatment. This is when I realised that I needed to set up some kind of organisation/charity to be able to provide these treatments and therapies to people who could not afford them but would benefit from them.
Complementary therapies in the area cost at least £35+ per session which when you are on a low income is out of reach. Complementary therapies are considered to be a luxury for most people; the people who are in desperate need of it are unable to pay for it. I want to change this; not only does it save the NHS money it helps service users and clients to prevent a lot of stress and anxiety-related conditions. Complementary therapies can not only help people in crisis but as I have already said also they help to prevent or decrease the symptoms of chronic diseases.
Moving forward I will help to educate people including employers with regards to complementary therapies and the positive benefits it entails. Eventually also setting up group meetings offering a variety of services all aimed at improvement in the quality of life and the reduction of stress.
This year my anthology has been published. It is a collection of poems written by people struggling with their mental health and also by the loved ones of people who are struggling. This is to raise much-needed awareness. All profits will be used to provide free therapies for people in need. The book is called “A Darker Shade of Blue“. I am now working on my second anthology so still accepting poems if you have one you would like to donate please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org making sure it has a title and your name. To order a copy of “A Darker Shade of Blue” please click here.
I am in the process of making charity bracelets and the funds will also go towards the cause and hopefully, in the not too distant future, they will be made available on this site and also in my treatment room. If anyone would like to sell them in a shop etc please let me know.
I also have a health and wellness lifestyle blog which you can find here.