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Mental health support group in Haverhill has plenty of reasons to be positive




A mental health support group run by volunteers in Haverhill has received a welcome funding boost –and praise from one of its clients.

Open Mind – Meaningful Support seeks to provide a safe place for people to get free help, guidance and support. It provides a weekly drop-in safe space from 1.30pm to 3pm every Thursday for people experiencing any type of mental health issue.

The group offers confidential one-to-one support from the Next Door Coffee Shop, in Camps Road, and has received £600 from the Locality Funding Budgets of West Suffolk councillors for Haverhill, Elaine McManus, David Roach, Margaret Marks and Joe Mason.

Open Mind - Meaningful Places volunteers outside its meeting place with the four West Suffolk District Councillors that gave them the funding. Contributed picture
Open Mind - Meaningful Places volunteers outside its meeting place with the four West Suffolk District Councillors that gave them the funding. Contributed picture

The money went towards resources to be used with clients and to purchase equipment and displays that can be used at events to promote and spread awareness of the organisation’s work.

Cllr Mason said: “The work that Charmaine Slade and her amazing team do at the Next Door Coffee Shop is vital as currently Haverhill is in real need of improved mental health services. I hope that the message gets out that this group is there to help those in need and that they continue to receive support and wider recognition from the community for the positive contribution they are making to the lives of people in Haverhill.”

Charmaine said: “We are currently the only service in Haverhill offering frontline mental health care beyond that which a GP can offer.

“The NHS are unable to provide our residents with any useful service, indeed the service is even worse than when we opened one year ago.

“It’s very poor but I’m hopeful things will eventually improve. We wish to encourage our residents that we are here!

The value of the group’s support was endorsed by Jay Nunn, 42, who said that prior to using it, his poor mental health had left him almost housebound for nearly two years.

He added: “From the time since I first went along the help and support I’ve received has been amazing. I’ve gone from feeling like a failure with nothing to live for to having the confidence to understand my mental health and move forward and the motivation to use my experiences to help others.

“I still have a long way to go but just having someone walk with me on my journey has changed everything for me. I will be forever grateful to the wonderful people at Open Mind.”

Open Mind -Meaningful Support can be found on Facebook or at: @openmindinfo8@gmail.com.”