New Online Directory For Mental Health Services In Fermanagh

A new website providing a directory of mental health services available in Fermanagh and Tyrone is now live online thanks to the pioneering work of one local woman.

“The new normal of social distancing and isolation has caused and reinforced feelings of anxiety and depression for many people. Trying to get access to help if you or a family member is having a Mental Health issue can cause great distress. The information currently available can be sparse, and the waiting times can range from three to nine months, according to the service you need to access. Mental health is complex and needs a range of tailored approaches to suit the individual,” shared Gail Turner, founder of the new online platform Help for Mental Health Directory (www.helpformentalhealth.guide).

Gail Turner.

Gail Turner.

By helping a family member through depression, Gail, who is from Letterbreen, realised that although help was available, the information was scattered over many places.

“Often, available services went unnoticed or unmentioned because they were already oversubscribed,” Gail commented, adding: “The only way to hear about them was to keep asking and talking to others.”

Deciding to find a solution to tackle the problem, Gail designed the website and platform which acts as directory to help people find quick access to the wide range of help actually available.

Gail’s experience as a teacher, underpinned by international research and working as a Therapeutic Art Practitioner for children, helped inform her of the current chasm in mental health provision. The website has been built by Niall O’Hara who kindly offered to help in the project.

The website has now been launched and comprises of:

Emergency Help – names and numbers you can call right away which offer advice, support and sometimes intervention.

Local Places to find Help – GP referral is needed for some, but you can see what is available. Others are Council run, Charity based or private. Counsellors, Psychiatrists, Psychologists can be found on the links on this page.

Physical Check Ups – A good place to start is to check that a physical reason is not impacting on mental health. If a GP cannot do a full medical it is possible to have this done privately.

Creative and Alternative Therapies – A variety of approaches and treatments have been documented to help with mental health, rather than just medication. Some of these are explained and listed here.

Spiritual Help – Support, prayer and often healing is found through faith. This gives some available places which happily lend support.

“One of the main resources on it will be apps and podcasts which are current and people can go and immediately listen to them. Maybe they will find someone that encourages them, who gives them more insight because I think with anxiety and depression and mental health, you have to educate yourself,” noted Gail.

The platform is currently being refined, updated information being added as services come to light.

“I’m not recommending any of these because I can’t recommend for people because it is so individual but if people know of other things that have helped or that they want to add to it, they can email me at info@helpformentalhealth.guide and I’ll add on,” Gail concluded.

(Source – Impartial Reporter – News – Jessica Campbell – 01/06/2020)

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