Leading Surrey mental health charity Mary Frances Trust is partnering with Pride in Surrey to launch a new LGBT support group for adults in Leatherhead, to help address specific LGBT mental health needs and offer peer support.
With recent figures revealing that half of LGBT people have experienced depression in the last year and one in eight LGBT people between 18-24 have attempted to take their own lives, mental health support dedicated to the LGBT community is needed more than ever.
Patrick Wolter, CEO, Mary Frances Trust says:
“There are currently no mental health support groups for the LGBT community in this part of Surrey, so we really wanted to start one. And with Pride coming to Surrey in August, we knew it was the perfect time to do it.
We’re delighted to have Stephen Ireland from Pride in Surrey on board. He is a fantastic advocate for our cause and thanks to him and Pride in Surrey, we hope to reach as many LGBT people as possible and raise the profile of this support group.”
The new LGBT Support Group will take place at Mary Frances Trust’s offices in Leatherhead on the third Thursday of every month between 7pm and 9pm, starting on 18th July 2019. It is open to anyone from the age of 18, living in Surrey with a mental health condition, either diagnosed or undiagnosed. Patrick Wolter, member of the LGBT community himself and a trained mental health professional, will facilitate the group alongside Stephen Ireland, Founder and Chair of Pride in Surrey, alongside LGBT volunteers.
Stephen Ireland, Founder and Chair of Pride in Surrey says:
“When Mary Frances Trust approached me about starting a LGBT support group in Surrey, I knew I had to get involved. I am very passionate about supporting the mental health of the LGBT community as I know going to support groups, meeting people like me who wanted to feel better, helped me to come out of an all-time low, when I was younger. While there is more LGBT recognition and acceptance than ever before, there is still so much work to be done in terms of supporting, educating people and reaching equality.”
The LGBT support group will be about meeting people with shared experiences and identities, supporting each other in a safe, friendly, non-judgmental environment, breaking loneliness and isolation by sharing coping strategies. Over time, members of the group will also build up their own programme of activities and courses that Mary Frances Trust will run to support their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
In the near future, the charity hopes to launch other LGBT groups in the areas where it operates: Banstead, Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell and Mole Valley.
The charity, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, will also take an active part in the Pride in Surrey event on 10 August in Woking to spread awareness of the LGBT mental health support available, free of charge in Surrey.
Pride in Surrey is taking place on Saturday 10 August in Woking. Both the parade and park are free to attend. For more information or to get free tickets for the park event, please visit the Pride in Surrey website.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Mary Frances Trust is a leading local charity that supports adults living in Surrey to improve their mental health and emotional wellbeing through a variety of services, from one-to-one support, advice and information, physical activities, self-improvement and wellbeing courses, interest groups, peer support groups and social activities, all designed to aid recovery.
The charity is also one of Community Connections Surrey’s Mental Health Lead Providers, working alongside Catalyst and Richmond Fellowship to offer seamless, first-class mental health support throughout Surrey.
Communications Officer, Mary Frances Trust
Tel: 01372 375 400 – ext. 115
Mobile: 07365 265 751
Chair and Founder, Pride in Surrey
Tel: 01483 663700