Wigan pub hosts free mental health workshops

Many people like a pint for stress-busting purposes, but one Wigan watering hole is going much further by becoming the venue for free mental health workshops.

Candice-Jane Burger, who runs not-for-profit organisation The New You Healing Centre CIC, held her first session at The Mount in Orrell.

Adrian Dobson and Candice-Jane Burger, who are running mental health recovery workshops from The Mount, Orrell

Adrian Dobson and Candice-Jane Burger, who are running mental health recovery workshops from The Mount, Orrell

The pub offered Candice-Jane the use of its upstairs conference room for the new workshops, which cover techniques for dealing with a range of mental illnesses.

Candice-Jane says people struggling need somewhere when concerned about their mental health, as otherwise they can fall through the cracks in the NHS systems.

She said: “When someone realises they are struggling with any mental illness and finds the courage to go to their GP they are at their lowest point.

“They then get referred to professionals like the mental health assessment team or someone doing cognitive behavioural therapy.

“They are on a waiting list for between six and 12 weeks and that’s when I’m getting them to realise there is support out there. and they won’t suffer alone.

“I’m there to help them get through that recovery process.

“I teach them techniques to calm them and relax them and help them deal with breakdowns, anxiety or panic attacks.

“I’m also able to help anyone feeling suicidal.

“I also do things like yoga, meditation and positive forward thinking.”

Candice-Jane admits the room above a pub may be thought an unusual location for the workshops but suggested it may actually work to her advantage as a familiar and unthreatening environment.

She said: “I was originally looking for a church hall or something like that, but I live close to The Mount and was speaking to the owner about some seminars I wanted to do there. I asked if I could use the conference room and they agreed.

“When they walk into a place like The Mount it could look like they are going in for lunch or to meet some friends. From the outside it doesn’t look like they are going to a mental health recovery workshop.

“When they leave they also don’t feel they are being watched or stigmatised.”

The free workshops run from 11am until 2pm every Monday.

Find out more by searching for Wigan Needs You on Facebook.