People with mental health problems often want to escape from the house and from their thoughts, but feel they don’t have a good enough reason to do so; lack of motivation is often a major contributing factor to the problem. Having an outing or activity to look forward to is a way to encourage mental health sufferers back out into society, particularly when they know they will be with other people who understand their difficulties, making it easier to talk and find support.
Dependent on funding, The L’vaïr Project organises social gatherings, events and outings for Mental Health Service users to help improve their well-being and confidence.
These ordinary social activities – whether it’s fish and chips on the beach or a trip to Herm – are also a challenge to the prejudice and stigma, rooted in ignorance, that is sadly attached by so many people to mental health problems.
Socialising is an important step on the road to recovery and wellbeing
Studies have shown that socialisation programmes have a very real, positive effect on people with mental health problems:
“Overall… being supported to socialise has positive benefits for all who participate… How people felt about themselves improved as did their confidence to go out and socialise more often. Symptoms of depression also decreased.
Very importantly… people felt much less lonely, less socially isolated, more a part of their local community and had improved connections with their family and friends.”
Sheridan A., O’Callaghan E., Drennan J., Coughlan B., O’Keeffe D., Nee J., Frazer K. and Kemple M.
(2012) Enabling Recovery: The Benefits of Supporting Socialisation.
Report of a Randomised Controlled Trial. University College Dublin, Dublin
NICE – Public health interventions to promote positive mental health and prevent mental health disorders among adults.