If you’ve been a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know about my mental health issues. I’ve written in length about them over the years.
At my lowest I received a comment through the blog from a lady telling me about Havin’ALaugh. I knew of them but wasn’t too sure what it was all about. The charity pay for people in mental health therapy to have life-enhancing experiences. I contacted them when I was at my lowest, I really didn’t have the energy to do anything but I would have loved a seaweed bath. They sent me a voucher and off I went and after four months of my camera sitting in a bag I took it with me. I went for a walk along the beach and started seeing things that used to inspire me and I started taking photos again.
Little by little I got the strength to carry on. Realising that I wasn’t alone, that Havin’aLaugh was there, that readers of the blog knew how I felt, all helped immensely.
Through the charity I’ve got to know other people who know exactly how I was feeling. I’ve found support and a welcome. The monthly coffee mornings were a lifeline, you know for an hour a month you’d be in a room (or a zoom) where you didn’t have to explain yourself, or put on a brave face and hide behind a mask.
Imagine if there was something like the coffee mornings all the time? A safe haven from every day life. A place where everyone is welcome. Where people understand you. A place you can go to if you are worried about a family member or friend. This place is Flourish, and with your help it can be a reality.
Flourish is in Ballytivnan, Sligo town. It’s hoped this will become a warm and welcoming centre. A place where people can relax and just be, or take part in an activity, enjoy a cuppa, stroll around the garden. A place to feel comfortable in your own skin.
It sounds like something very special doesn’t it? But Flourish needs your help. Please donate whatever you can afford so the centre can open its doors, and hopefully people won’t ever feel as isolated as I did.
The Gofundme link is here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/havin-a-welcoming-front-door-for-mental-health If you aren’t in a position to donate please share the link. Every bit of support will help.
We are also looking for donations for a raffle for our next coffee morning in May. If you’d like to donate a prize please send me an email at email@example.com or if you’d like to host a fundraiser we’d love to hear from you too.