Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 12°C

Search

Claydon teacher hopes Ipswich mental health group inspired by Bryony Gordon’s Mad Girl could be a ‘lifeline’ for sufferers

PUBLISHED: 08:23 26 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:23 26 May 2017

From left to right: Ipswich Mental Health Mates members Sophie Beech, Sue Bush and Enya Ayden-Bridge. Picture: ENYA AYDEN-BRIDGE

From left to right: Ipswich Mental Health Mates members Sophie Beech, Sue Bush and Enya Ayden-Bridge. Picture: ENYA AYDEN-BRIDGE

Archant

A young Ipswich teacher has launched the first mental health group of its kind in Suffolk - which she believes could be a lifeline for people suffering with anxiety and depression alone.

Enya Ayden-Bridge, who works at Claydon High School, was inspired to set up Mental Health Mates after reading Bryony Gordon’s best selling book Mad Girl.

She is regularly in touch with the Telegraph author, whose book encourages people to celebrate life with mental illness, and to talk about it without being pressured.

Enya, who has had problems with her anxiety since she was 14, decided she wanted to do the same and now she meets with a small group of around ten people every fortnight.

The 24-year-old, from Washbrook, said: “It’s great to see people and just have a general chat. We have a couple of people who are older and say they are lonely, so it’s good to speak to and meet new people who may be experiencing similar issues.

“We don’t necessarily just discuss mental health – sometimes we just talk about how our week has been and how it has made us feel.

“Ipswich mental health mates meets up on Tuesday evenings, twice a month.

“It’s also a place where people with depression, anxiety and OCD can come and talk in a place free of judgement.”

The group meet on Ipswich Waterfront, and in the summer they go for walks while chatting.

In the winter, they pop into bars such as Cult Cafe.

Enya added: “No-one is forced to talk about their mental health issue, it’s about getting people talking and interacting again, building confidence.

“I am a teacher in a local secondary school and have seen first hand teachers with anxiety disorders and children as young as 12 struggling with their mental health.

“I believe this group could be a lifeline to many people in Suffolk, and I have already had people enquiring in Suffolk so depressed that they don’t leave the house.

“Bryony (Gordon), who runs Mental Health Mates in London, has hundreds of people who attend her groups and which has changed their lives.”

For more information or to join Ipswich Mental Health Mates, get in touch with Enya at ipswichmentalhealthmates@gmail.com.

Police have issued a warning after a Felixstowe man in his 70s became victim to an online and telephone scam in which he transferred £2,500.

Engineers working to keep Suffolk’s roads in good shape could turn to a new weapon in the battle against the menace of potholes – sunflower oil.

More than 800 people have already had their say on how Stowmarket and Sudbury should develop in the future at exhibitions in the towns.

As the leaves have started falling and the autumn half term edges closer, be one step ahead with your plans and check out our list of things to do on Saturday, October 21, and Sunday, October 22.

Traffic has returned to normal on the Orwell Bridge after a crash involving a car and a lorry this morning.

Parents in Suffolk are being urged to help educate their children to be responsible online, with a warning issued that “online behaviour has offline consequences”.

First-time buyers have cause for optimism as average house prices appeared to fall in the last three months, according to a survey by property website Zoopla.

A severely disabled teenager from Essex met members of the Royal family as part of a “unique and memorable” experience on board a vintage train.

The Eastern Enterprise Hub has teamed up with Chuffed.org to host a workshop in crowdfunding for charities, social enterprises and individuals with a cause.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24