I Started a Support Group
Posted by DaisyMarigold
16th Mar 2015

After being signed off of work for 2 months and getting more frustrated waiting for the elusive CBT appointment, I decided to start my own support group. After being totally open and honest with my friends about how I was feeling, I discovered that lots of them also had madness tendencies and so I sent them all a friendly email!

Here it is………….

Hello there ladies,

As most of you all know, I have recently been suffering from anxiety and depression. You have all been a huge support to me and I’m very grateful for all the love, companionship and advice you have given me over the last few months. You have all also had your own battles with some sort of mental health issues and it occurred to me what a wealth of information and positive support we would possess as a group. A formidable, badass, fluffy warm cloud of strength and support.

Therefore, as I’ve been sitting at home thinking about how to change the world, I’ve come up with a small idea and this is your invitation…

You are receiving this invitation because I know what a strong, intelligent woman you are.

You Are Invited To…………

A compassionate, support group for women who are currently suffering, or have suffered in the past, from any kind of mental health illnesses.

I think it should be called…

Mad Cows

So these are my proposals:

A weekly or fortnightly meeting.
Initially (or always if you want) at my house.
It will not be a ‘pity party’ and we will not be ruminating on negativity.
It will be a compassionate, supportive, loving space.
There will be tea and cake.
Each session, we can talk about how we are feeling and share advice on what helps.
We could have a theme for each session such as: exercise, meditation, medication, book/app reviews or whatever you think!
We will all sign an agreement that what happens in the group is not to be shared outside of it and you will not be forced to share anything or talk about anything you don’t want to. Like fight club but prettier.
There will be tea and cake. (it’s on here twice because I feel it’s very important.)
Why I think it’s a good idea:

A Mental Health Epidemic

Some statistics stolen from

The facts and figures around Mental Health are alarming.

About a quarter of the population will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year, with mixed anxiety and depression the most common mental disorder in Britain
Women are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men and about ten percent of children have a mental health problem at any one time
Depression affects 1 in 5 older people
Suicides rates show that British men are three times as likely to die by suicide than British women and self-harm statistics for the UK show one of the highest rates in Europe: 400 per 100,000 population
Only 1 in 10 prisoners has no mental disorder.

A quote from Ruby Wax:

My Suggestions (A Diatribe)
Alcoholics Anonymous has a system where you call your ‘buddy’ when you feel you want a drink and they will talk you down. Why can’t we have meeting places like in AA, where they all get together for their 12-step thing and have cigarettes and cookies? How did they organise these get-togethers so well? They have meeting places on every corner of every block; more places than there are Starbucks and these people are drunks? How did they figure all this out? Why can’t we do that? We’re just as discriminated against as alcoholics.

Ok, so we probably know most of that already. But when you’re in that dark place, you feel so alone and can’t believe anyone else could ever understand.

When I filled in the anxiety/depression ‘quiz’ the NHS give you, I was so shocked at how it just seemed to be a list of my symptoms and I thought, ‘oh my god, this is actually a clinically diagnosed illness. That means I haven’t made it up and I can’t be alone’. Well, surprise, surprise, as I began talking to all of you individually, I realised that you could all be my allies in the fight against it and that I wanted to do something to bring us all together and help each other.

Talking therapies have proven to be an extremely effective way to deal with anxiety and depression in particular. However, the waiting lists are often extremely long and treatment can be time limited. So, let’s talk to each other. Like Bob Hoskins used to say ‘it’s good to talk’.

And did I mention there will be cake?

Initial meeting date is either this Saturday at 2pm or Tuesday evening at 7pm at my house.

Let me know which date you would be able to make and if you want to come.



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