A NEW service has been launched in Fermanagh to help those suffering from mental health problems find the support they need.
Advocacy for All was set up by Inspire earlier this year to help those in the area over 18 who have experienced mild to moderate mental health issues find the right support and, just as importantly, have their voices heard.
The service, which is northern-wide but has a base in Fermanagh, does not provide counselling or befriending, nor does it about telling people what to do. Instead, it is aimed at providing those who need with information about the services locally that they can avail of.
It gives people the chance to talk about their options and rights concerning their mental health with a train mental health advocate. It helps empower with information and signposting, and it supports people to become more confident when speaking up for themselves regarding their mental health and wellbeing.
Martina Doherty is based here in the county and covers the western area for Advocacy for All.
While she can usually be found in Fermanagh House a few days a week, she said her work takes across the county.
Noting the service had a lot of clients in the Belfast area, Ms Doherty said she was keen to let people in the Fermanagh area know the service was there.
“It’s free and available to everyone,” Ms Doherty told the Herald. “We’re here to help.”
While it only got up and running earlier this year, Ms Doherty said the feedback had already been very positive.
“I’ve had a lot of people emailing and texting me back to say ‘thanks for all your help’, and I think it’s just actually someone getting their voice heard, and getting options they can use, and about being there if they need to find anything else,” she said.
Ms Doherty added that in a rural area such as Fermanagh, helping people create social connections, and simply letting them know what’s available in the local community, was proving effective.
From easier going activities such as walking groups, to helping signpost people to therapy or addiction counseling, Advocacy for All takes a holistic approach to helping find people the right help. As well as the signposting, Advocacy for All also runs a free OCN Level 2 Advocacy course, helping create more advocates in the community.
You can also call 08081890036, or email email@example.com, Monday to Friday from 10am-4pm.
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