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Tackling Dorset's Depression Crisis

by Michael Ford last modified 12 Nov, 2019 11:25 AM

A new support group is attempting to tackle a "depression crisis" in parts of the county.

Tackling Dorset's Depression Crisis

Original photo courtesy Unsplash

Charity Dorset Mind is running the sessions in response to a recent report that revealed higher-than-average levels of depression and loneliness in the county, with Weymouth and Portland residents at greater risk of depression than most of the UK population.

According to the charity, the concerning statistics could be related to deprivation: Weymouth's foodbank is the busiest in the county and 8 neighbourhoods fall within the top 10 per cent most health-deprived in the UK.

The findings are published in Dorset Community Foundation's 'Hidden Dorset 2' report.

The charity hopes that the Support Group, which will meet every second and fourth Wednesday of each month at the Lantern Trust in Weymouth, can improve mental health by teaching people new coping skills.

Starting from November 13th, the new support group will give people a safe space to share experiences and thoughts, and learn how best to deal with mental heath issues.

The sessions are open to people in the surrounding area who might want to improve their mental health and wellbeing. There are no waiting lists, so anyone who wants to join can simply turn up, organisers say. It is hoped that the informal setup will help reduce any anxiety people may feel around having to apply or needing a referral.

The group offers peer support and helps to reduce stigma by normalising conversations about mental health, and encourages people to talk about wellbeing challenges or triumphs in an accepting and supportive environment.

The educational workshops give an opportunity to access support and identify helpful ways of coping and improving mental health.

The group also helps to counteract loneliness and isolation, which the study shows are particularly prevalent in Weymouth.

More information about Dorset Mind

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