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Vital support for our good mental health

Vital support for our good mental health

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 15-21 May and this year’s theme was anxiety (described as a common feeling that sometimes gets out of control). The Mental Health Foundation shared lots of guidance on how we can manage and improve feelings of anxiety and prevent them from developing into a more serious mental health problem. As they say on their website; “Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems we can face. In a recent mental health survey they carried out around stress, anxiety and hopelessness over personal finances, a quarter of adults said they felt so anxious that it stopped them from doing the things they want to do some or all of the time. Six in ten adults feel this way, at least some of the time”.

On a positive note, anxiety can be made easier to manage and locally we have several excellent voluntary organisations and churches providing support. One Ripon based group in particular celebrated its first birthday in May. Renew Ripon is a weekly café-style space, based in the Arches at Holy Trinity Church on Kirkby Rd. It promotes a relaxed atmosphere, allowing members of the community to work on their mental and emotional wellbeing. 

As Revd Michelle Lepine, Assistant Curate, explains “Renew Ripon is a place where all are welcome and accepted. It is a friendly, safe space where any individuals experiencing feelings of isolation, anxiety, bereavement, or other mental health issues can go.  There are mindful activities, such as puzzles and creative crafts to enjoy, or people can simply enjoy some company, a chat, a cuppa and cakes alongside a team of dedicated volunteers who are on hand to listen and support. Alternatively, a quiet reflective space is also available”. 

Taking place on Mondays 11.30am-1.30pm and Tuesdays 6.30pm-8.30pm, Renew Ripon is free of charge and open to any adult in and around Ripon experiencing feelings of isolation, anxiety, or other mental health issues. Since its launch Renew Ripon has enjoyed partnering with local social prescribers, businesses and community services to offer support and funding, and increasing numbers of adults are using its services. To mark their first anniversary volunteers launched a community mosaic project symbolising how broken bits can be made into something new, just as our minds and lives can be renewed. They are also promoting wellbeing stories and ideas on social media. For more information please contact or call 01765 690930.

In Harrogate Renew HG1 is hosted by Harrogate Baptist Church and similarly offers an outlet to promote both emotional and mental wellbeing. Harrogate Mind, Wellspring, JustB, Orb Community Arts, Rethink, Claro Enterprises and the Samaritans are amongst several voluntary organisations providing vital support for good mental health in our area. 

All the details are in our online community information directory as usual, appropriately named “Where to Turn”.