HOW WE CREATED LIGHT WHEN THE WORLD WENT DARK

Inspirational mental health and wellbeing centre, formed in memory of Sean, provides support for men in Liverpool.

Written By Debbie Rodgers

Sean’s Place was formed in 2019, after losing my brother, who was just 34-years-old, after he battled with mental ill-health. Sean was the most amazing person: kind, caring, hilarious without meaning to be and loved by so many. However, despite all of this, Sean struggled with his confidence and self-esteem from childhood trauma and became socially isolated, contributing to a deterioration in his mental health. Whilst counselling and medication helped him with symptoms of his illness, it didn’t tackle the social issues of loneliness, not having anyone who fully could understand how he was feeling or having the support he needed to access opportunities in the community.

Upon searching for something that he could access, there were always barriers such as his age, costs or waiting lists. There are countless other men who feel this way in the community, which is why I created my own service – a place that we were looking for to support Sean.

The aim at Sean’s Place is to improve mental health and wellbeing through sessions specifically identified to improve confidence and self-esteem, whilst reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety. Sessions are solution-focused and provide techniques that can be used to support you at home, in the workplace and in the community.

The Sean’s Place team each have had their own journey with mental illness, enabling us to have a deeper understanding and greater empathy for those who are accessing Sean’s Place. We are “In This Together!”

Since opening, we have realised that Sean’s Place should be built through the guidance of those accessing our service. Through discussions with the men attending sessions, it became apparent that they just wanted opportunities to talk. We aim to provide that platform through our Sunday evening sessions, empowering others to share their journey. This is not only liberating for them, but also instils confidence for others in our group to do the same.

We not only provide support to men who access Sean’s Place; we also provide support to their families too. We believe support should be holistic; therefore, through providing information, guidance and support to families, we can ensure they are confident to have conversations at home and provide or find the support that is needed for their loved ones.

More information about the work of Sean’s Place can be found at

www.seansplace.org.uk

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