‘I feel like a weight has been lifted’: Members of Royston Mental Health Support Group reveal how the network has helped them cope

Robbie Lane has set up a mental health support group in Royston

Robbie Lane has set up a mental health support group in Royston - Credit: Archant

Members of a Royston group set up just three weeks ago have spoken about how it has helped them deal with their mental health issues.

The Mental Health Support Group was set up by Robbie Lane as he wanted to establish a real alternative to antidepressants.

In the first week there were a total of five people at the meeting, then in the second week about 18 people attended.

By the third week, more than 25 people turned up. The group also has more than 600 members on Facebook.

One member, who wants to be referred to by her first name Natalie, said: “I was recently diagnosed with emotional personality disorder.

“Three weeks ago I couldn’t leave the house. Then slowly I managed to go to the supermarket, then after that to the cinema, and I’ve even managed to go on a walk.

“Since joining the group in the first week, it’s given me the confidence to speak out about it.

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“I feel like a weight has been lifted. Other people have messaged me, and it’s nice helping them.

“I’ve made friends with people over the last three weeks. It’s a real confidence boost.”

Another member, who didn’t want to be named, said: “The group makes me feel like I’m not alone any more.”

Robbie said: “I started the group just at the right time. People say I must be so proud, but I am proud of the other people in the group who have spoken out.

“I’d also like to say thank you to my partner Jo for supporting me.

“Royston is known for having a lot of people who suffer from mental health issues.

“It’s a small town with not much to do. When I was growing up, there was a really good cinema and swimming pool. We used to go swimming then get six poppadoms from an Indian restaurant and share them out between friends.

“There have been a lot of losses in Royston to suicide recently, but everybody has come together, people are much more aware.”