A WIGAN mother and daughter are using their own personal turmoil to help others who are battling to stop self-harming.
Mum Maureen Baines and her daughter Kerri Jones have made it their mission to go that step further when supporting the borough’s self-harming sufferers.
And the project is particularly close to their hearts because 28-year-old Kerri suffered with the affliction from a young age.
Struggling to deal with it, they found that there was little support available to those affected by self-harm, outside of mental health services.
So the pair set up peer support group No Secrets to support others who find themselves self-harming.
Kerri said: “I still self-harm but only every few months. I have learnt new coping skills like how to handle my emotions in different ways, being honest about how I feel.
“I have learned to always be open and have no secrets with the professionals working with me as well as my family.
“The support network is brilliant, too. Mum is fab and I feel I can tell her anything without her freaking out and thinking that I need to be in hospital.”
Shortly after setting up No Secrets, a parent and carers group was devised at Platt Bridge Community Centre by Maureen and Kerri after they realised there was also a lack of support for those dealing with a loved ones self-harm.
This especially included parents dealing with a child’s self-harm. Now there is also a group now running in Halton and a group for patients on the Cavendish ward at Leigh.
Aimy Hobbins currently runs the Wigan group along with Sarah Davidson and three volunteers.
She said: “I have been with Wigan No Secrets since the beginning and have recently taken over when Kerri decided to leave the group to pursue a career.
“We are a completely voluntary organisation and many of our volunteers help with No Secrets alongside paid employment, education or otherwise. We also offer training in self harm awareness to people working with both adults and young people and have so far trained over 1,500 professionals and carers across Wigan, Warrington and St Helens in self harm awareness and brief intervention.”
The carers group is aimed at anyone who knows someone who self-harms or suspects a loved one is self harming. This could be a parent, carer, family member, friend or even professionals. It is run by Grant Fryer who has more than 15 years experience of caring for someone who self harms. Aimy added: “We look at distraction techniques, various activities, mindfulness, self-esteem and confidence and many more, sometimes we just sit and chat about how our weeks have been.
“The group is run by people with lived experience of self harm and provides a supportive and caring environment. Many of our members find friends within the group as many have similar experiences.”
Details from 07514 458121 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or for the carers group people can contact Grant directly at email@example.com