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Article published on: Monday, 03 October 2022

World Mental Health Day is on Monday 10th October. The theme for 2022 is ‘Making Mental Health & Wellbeing for All a Global Priority’.

Buckinghamshire Mind supports the mental health wellbeing of everyone in our communities through the diversity of our services. We ensure that anyone can access a variety of services, no matter what their financial circumstances, by providing some services either at a low-cost, subsidised rate or completely free of charge.

One such service is our Friends in Need (FiN), which provides free peer support groups and a wide range of wellbeing activities, such as arts and crafts, walks, yoga, meditation, singing, quiz nights, day trips, creative writing, cinema nights and many more.

FiN has been operating in East Berkshire since 2016 and has been such a huge success that, in 2018, Bucks Mind launched Friend in Need Bucks. Initially, this service was delivered in High Wycombe, Chesham, Amersham and Marlow. However, since its launch it has grown and expanded into the north of the county, providing activities in Aylesbury, and aims to launch groups in Princes Risborough and Buckingham.

Our Friends in Need service users said:

The thing I like most about Friends in Need is that you can talk openly and honestly and someone will listen to you and not judge you.

Because there are activities most days, it feels like a safety net in that if I am having a bad day I can always connect with others who are understanding and supportive.

Last year over 80% of FiN members said that their confidence had increased as a result of attending, while 78% said that their mental health had improved thanks to FiN.

Ansa Khan, Friends in Need Team Lead, said:

Friends in Need has a positive impact on the lives of those affected by depression, anxiety, loneliness and isolation by providing a safe and friendly environment where members can grow and flourish. To give you an example, one of our first members to join FiN Bucks trained to be a volunteer running several successful groups. Gaining so much confidence from this, she has also secured a job within the NHS providing peer support.

We would welcome more Bucks residents to our groups and invite local residents to get in touch. Please contact Ansa Khan on 07496 874882or email [email protected]

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