A Simple Suggestion Can Mean Something Big
During recent months, Ashley and Tracy have been supporting Paul and Marcus. They have called a number times looking for support with their mental health and both Ashley and Tracy have signposted them to various teams and online resources that could help.
During one conversation, Paul mentioned that he was down because he used to be active in the community and was not able to do so now. He also mentioned that as he was shielding, meaning he was unable to leave his home for at least 12 weeks. Ashley knew Paul from LGBT+ meetings, and knowing Paul’s situation suggested that he could do something online and this might even help Paul and Marcus with their mental health.
Since talking to Ashley and Tracy, Paul and Marcus have gone on to start a LGBT virtual social group which they run each week. They have noticed an improvement in their mental health and in a recent LGBT+ meeting thanked the team for their support.
Paul had this to say:
“Healthwatch really help us myself and Marcus. We were struggling with our mental health, mainly depression. I called Healthwatch and spoke to Tracy and Ashley who both gave us very useful information and pointed us to the relevant support agencies. We would like to give a big thank you to Ashley and Tracy for all their support and help over the last few weeks.
Our depression was very bad at the time and has gotten better since our conversations with Healthwatch. We used to be very active in the community before lockdown, and the lack of focus was affecting our mental health. During a conversation with Ashley, he said to us why don’t you carry on your LGBT+ sparkle social group online using something like Zoom. This has given us a focus and we are back to our own selves again, helping the LGBT+ community by giving them useful information from different organisations and are working very closely with Healthwatch. We really can’t thank them enough for helping as through theses hard times and getting us out off a very difficult time.” – Paul
Sometimes simple suggestions such as starting an online group or visiting a website can make a big difference to someone. At the time we may not realise the impact it has on someone, but this is a great example of how we have helped someone just by listening to them and pointing them in a direction.
We would like to thank Paul and Marcus for allowing us to share their experience.
LGBT+ Sparkle meet every Thursday at 2pm using Zoom. The meeting ID to join is: 892-9000-0834