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Just like physical health problems, mental health problems can be short term or long term. Some can be solved or managed through medication and others through therapy, just as physical ones benefit from physiotherapy.

In fact, when you think about it, mental health problems are caused by faulty brain functioning – which actually makes it a physical problem.

For far too long, people have been stigmatised and feared because they have a mental health problem. It is encouraging to see that depression and anxiety are starting to lose that stigma, but there is still a long way to go for other issues.

The first step in treating mental health issues is of course to seek medical advice from a doctor. You will then often be referred to a psychologist or psychiatrist for a diagnosis. This is no different to how physical illnesses are handled, by referring you to the right specialist.

Just like a physical health illness, you may or may not need to be hospitalised. And just the same, once your treatment is over, you will need to have a plan to manage the problem yourself on a daily basis.

Peer groups are a very effective method for managing aftercare, for both physical and mental health problems. They allow you to get and give support within the group, from people who have similar problems. Peer groups are not designed to replace professional treatment, but to complement it.

When it comes to mental health, peer groups are a good way to discuss your problem before actually seeing the doctor. Because of the stigma surrounding mental health, you may not feel comfortable in seeking help. By going to a peer group, you can remain anonymous, allowing you to be honest without fear of repercussions.

STRIVE is such a group and is run by fellow sufferers who have years of experience in managing their own mental health problems. We do not judge anyone or try to play doctor. Our aim is to offer you a chance to find out what your problem may be, the best way to treat it, and let you decide whether you should seek professional help.

We encourage you to learn more by browsing this website. If you feel we can help, then please use the Contact form to ask any questions. We will never use your information outside of group meetings.