“Don’t keep depression under your hat”. That was the message to people at a Doncaster drug and alcohol rehabilitation unit when it marked Depression Awareness Week 2016 (18 to 24 April).
Service users and staff at Aspire’s New Beginnings Recovery-Orientated Detoxification Service joined organisations around the UK in holding an event to raise awareness of depression, and remove the stigma associated with the condition, which affects one in five people in the UK.
Aspire Service Manager Stuart Green added: “Depression often goes hand in hand with addiction, when people feel hopeless and unhappy with their lives. They often use drugs and alcohol to mask, or manage their difficult feelings, but they don’t realise this actually makes the depression worse.
“Just taking a tablet is rarely the answer – so engaging in activities like going to the gym, and taking action to improve your overall health and wellbeing can really support you to improve your mood.
“We realise it takes a huge amount of effort when you’re depressed to keep moving forward with your recovery, so we offer a flexible programme to support people’s needs, and use a variety of therapies and group work to help people explore their behaviour.”
The event at New Beginnings saw service users getting involved in sessions to enhance their mental health and overall wellbeing, enjoying healthy food, and talking openly about the support available at the unit, as well as hearing about what’s generally available in and around Doncaster.
Aspire Day Programme Manager Paul Wade said: “For many people who enter services the most difficult thing is to begin to believe there’s a way out of the situation they’re in.
“Our event was a real team effort! It was all about getting depression out in the open by experiencing some of the fantastic help and support that’s available to people who come to New Beginnings.
“We also heard from people who’ve ‘been there’ – who’ve already made positive changes in their lives – as these are the people who are living proof that there really is a way out.
“A huge thanks to everyone for taking part!”
To talk to someone in confidence about drug or alcohol issues, please
ring (01302) 730956, or visit www.aspire.community