Keith Lavelle is the founder of A New Hope! Male Peer Support Group. On Tuesday evenings from 6-8pm we gather with 30 attendees and 12 of these have been attending our group since A new hope! launched.
These men have come to recognise the impact these times together have been in creating stability throughout there mental health recovery. We as a group have helped build confidence in these men that in turn has saw them reintegrated into the family life, and able to work, be positive role models at home and in turn appreciated family dinner times.
This may sound ‘normal’ but for those suffering with wellbeing and mental health difficulties this can often be a challenge. This is one of the reasons why our support group has been such a positive contribution to our town. These men benefit hugely from the evening gathering to help sustain these healthy daily maintenance factors. For these men walking through the door is often the hardest part of the journey especially when working with people who suffer from poor mental health. Consistency and familiarity is often paramount to there experience and stability.
As our group grows at a steady rate we are beginning to become known to the NHS. Recently a charge nurse from woodland view came to talk to our group which provided a positive link between A New Hope! and the NHS Mental Health Services. I would like to also highlight that NHS 24 even recommended our group to a caller. Statistics have show that Ayrshire has between 45-50 suicides annually. It is implied that 1/3 of these completed suicides is registered male. Having an established and vital 3rd sector support group in the heart of the community is much needed in our area. I personally lost my best friend to suicide, he is now a national statistic and I am doing my best to stop others from becoming a statistic. For these 9 months we have seen huge progress made in the life of those who attend. We have seen families reconciled and many move from crisis to recovery. Our group may seem like one of many on the list that will be affected by the recent financial changes to staffing but nevertheless it is crucial to the community. If my heart felt words don’t convey the passion and commitment my group has to its community,
I encourage you to read the testimonies of the men who have benefited from it.