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BLOG – You Are Not Alone Posted on Monday, 11 November 2019

Driving into work this morning I couldn’t help but think how unbelievably lucky I am to live in a town that is absolutely filled to the brim with help and support available for almost any issue under the sun. As I celebrate a decade living in Market Harborough, I realised that I have had the pleasure of meeting and working alongside pillars of the community with more passion and motivation for helping others than Florence Nightingale herself. When times have been hard, I have been able to use this safety net and lean on the life-changing support provided by our incredible voluntary organisations.

Thankfully, I am now in a position where I can contribute to the community in my role as Mental Health Community Officer at Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL). During my time here, it has dawned on me that unless you have needed to reach out for help before, you may be completely in the dark about what assistance is currently out there and where to go to ask.  We all need a bit of a helping hand from time to time and this, for me, is what community is all about. Sharing the burden in times of need and putting heads together to solve problems when things seem overwhelming and we can’t see the way out. We don’t need to do it on our own.

Recently we have teamed up with ‘Start a Conversation’, a suicide prevention campaign specifically for the residents of Leicestershire as well as a local community group known as ‘it’s ok not to be ok’ (find them on Facebook). Accepting that we are only human and will need the support of others from time to time is tough, especially for the more independent amongst us. If you don’t know why you’re feeling low, it may be difficult for you to see a time when you will no longer feel this way, but whatever the reason, it’s important to remember there is support available to help you overcome these thoughts and feelings and cope with the difficulties you are experiencing in your life. We simply cannot afford to lose any more good people to burnout, exhaustion, loneliness, financial worries, relationship breakdown, addiction or bullying. If you can’t see a way out right now, we will help you to get there.

To show solidarity with CALM (the campaign against living miserably), we would like show our support for them and the helpline they offer whilst they are walking in London on October 26th for their very first ‘Lost Hours’ event. Why? Because 16 people take their own lives in the UK every day, leaving behind thousands of devastated friends, family and colleagues. On the one day we are given extra time, we give our thoughts and prayers to all those who didn’t have enough time with us. We encourage you to pledge your support for the Start a Conversation campaign on their website.

You can get involved with the My Mind Matters project here at VASL so that we can work together as a community to prevent suicide and help people to live their best lives.

For more details on the event visit the CALM website or call My Mind Matters on 01858 411383 for further info.