Mum's support groups for men's mental health, struggling parents and teenagers

Fiona Hannah, Child, Adolescent and Adult Therapist at Teenage Mental Health. Picture: SARAH LUCY B

Fiona Hannah, Child, Adolescent and Adult Therapist at Teenage Mental Health. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A mum who heads up a teenage mental health facility in Ipswich town centre is launching a series of support sessions helping young people and their parents.

Fiona Hannah's clinic Teenage Mental Health more than doubled in size earlier this year with capacity to look after 400 children at its new base at 31 Lower Brook Street. 

The qualified psychotherapist, who does not take a salary from the private clinic, expanded the centre in response to a "massive tsunami" of young people experiencing anxiety and depression during the pandemic.

She set up Teenage Mental Health after her son, Jesper Dean, hit crisis point in his own life.

Now Ms Hannah and her team of 12 staff are introducing group therapy sessions taking place every night of the week.

"I started support groups as I realised that there is little to no support for parents with a child going through mental health trauma," she said.

"We successfully ran a parental group for two years and have now recently expanded this to five different groups per week as we are aware that what groups were available in Suffolk have either been closed during the pandemic, or moved online.

"All these groups are free to attend, are open to everyone (not just patients of the organisation and their carers), and are on a drop-in basis so you do not have to pre-register to attend."

The sessions, which run from 7pm to 8.30pm and are face-to-face, include Parental Support on Mondays, Men's Mental Health on Tuesdays, Disordered Eating Support (under 25s) on Wednesdays, Transgender Support (under 25s) on Thursdays and Self-Harm Support (under 25s) on Fridays.

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Government rules state support groups that have to be delivered in person can continue with up to 15 participants, where it is formally organised and at a premises - not a private home.

The sessions started on Monday, March 22 and are expected to continue beyond the Covid lockdown.

Call 01473 411324 and visit the Teenage Mental Health website for more information.

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