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Hello and welcome to The MH Social Club! My name is Andy and I came up with the idea of creating a mental health social group in the Newton Aycliffe area.

I recognise that my idea is not entirely original, but as someone who had previously attended mental health help groups before in the local vicinity (some of which I have the ultimate respect for as they helped me greatly on a personal level!) I still felt that something was missing in the area for someone like myself who had a history of mental ill health but who also wanted to expand his friendship circles, and so The MH Social Club was born!

While at certain points of our own mental health journeys we may benefit from sitting in circles and sharing our stories, this strategy is admittedly not for everyone. Many people often just need some general human contact in order to lift them up when they are feeling low but have nowhere to go to do this and so I thought I would attempt to create a solution to this issue.

The MH Social Club is intended to be there for those of us who can feel rather lonely at times due to a lack of socialising, possibly as a result of mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression which can restrict our abilities to make friends or meet new people. By becoming a Club Member, you have the opportunity to overcome these difficulties by being around like-minded people who may share similar life experiences.

While socialising is encouraged at Club meetings, you are under no pressure to do anything you don't want to do. It is entirely up to you how much information you share about yourself and any issues you might be experiencing in relation to your mental health. If you intend to attend meetings to simply have a hot drink and a chat with others, that is absolutely fine. If you attend and wish to open up about your feelings to a Club Volunteer or another Member you trust, that's fine too!

Ultimately, the main goal of The MH Social Club is to bring people together in an informal manner to help fight loneliness and hopefully assist in alleviating some of the symptoms of mental ill health.

If you have any questions in relation to the Club do feel free to get in touch via social media or by the "Contact" page on our website. I will post information in relation to the dates and locations of our Club Meetings on the website and on our social media platforms once the final details have finalised.

I look forward to meeting you all at a Club Meeting in the future! Andy


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